Pasta Arrabiata ( For a Lazy Valentine Brunch )
As I went through my severely limited options ( given that I woke up feel somewhat sick ) for lunch today, red was the theme that dominated my thoughts. With my fridge rather overflowing with tomatoes (got them cheap from a 'thela'), I quickly decided to make a Arrabiata which is an all time favorite. Dunking a few tomatoes in hot water, I quickly got the rest of the ingredients on my kitchen table. Apart from the great taste, the greatest thing about this dish is that even an idiot can cook it to perfection.
[Psssst...gals this is a hint for you if you want to pass on the apron to your better half on V-day which falls on a Sunday this year! What a bounty ! Who knows, providence willing, you might even end up with a rather intimate Tomatina festival in your very own kitchen. But just make sure that the maid not taken a day off on Monday ;).]
Read on for the recipe -
Preparation Time - 25 mins
- 1 1/2 cup pasta ( I used Chifferi Rigate though Penne is more popular )
- 3 large ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 3 tsp tomato ketchup
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar ( I substitute it with honey )
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 tsp chilli flakes ( I used homemade one with lightly roasted Kashmiri chilis for more flavour)
- 3 tbsp EVOO
- 1 tsp dried oregana
- 1 tsp dried basil (fresh is preferable)
- 2 pinch red chili powder or paprika ( just for that red hue else optional )
Preparation - Dunk the tomatoes in hot water for a few minutes. Peel them and chop them up.
Cooking - Put the skillet on a flame. Drizzle olive oil. Add the chili flakes and garlic to the cold oil . Let them warm together for a intense flavour.
Next add the chopped tomatoes to the skillet and sprinkle salt on it. Cover with lid and let it turn a little mushy.
Add the puree, ketchup, oregano, sugar and lime juice along with 1/2 cup water. Cook for 15 mins till you get it to the right consistency.
Simultaneously, bring 6-7 cups water to boil in a large saucepan. Once it gets to bubbling, add salt and then when it gets to a rolling boil, throw in the pasta. It will take about 15 mins to cook to an al-dente stage.
Once the paste is done, save a cup of the pasta water and drain the rest using a colander. Give a good shake to the colander to prevent the paste from sticking to each other.
Add the paste to the Arrabiata sauce and sprinkle a few teaspoons of the pasta water over it. Add the basil and toss everything together. Cook for 1 minute.
Remove from flame and serve with a drizzling of cheese (optional).
Note - If using honey, add it along with the basil leaves at the final stages of cooking.