My weeks are long. My daily commute is 3 and a half hours. Add to that the traditional 8 hour work day and lunch, and my day tends to start when I leave the house at 5:30am and end when I walk back in the door around 6:30pm. Despite these long days, I still cook 3 out of 5 nights a week, after all a girl’s got to eat, and ramen only gets you so far. Usually I turn to 30 minute meals like fish or a dish I can leave in the oven while I shower and get ready for the day. Last week though, I wasn’t getting home until after 8pm, so even a 30 minute meal was a time commitment I couldn’t make.
Enter the world’s fastest homemade pasta sauce. No really the world’s fastest! Arrabiata (meaning angry in Italian) is a simple spicy tomato sauce usually served with penne pasta, although I prefer cavatelli pasta because the shape holds the sauce well. The recipe calls for chopped basil, but to speed up the process I love to use Dorot Frozen Basil; I just pop 3-4 of these in my sauce and let simmer until they have melted and stir in to the sauce. Furthermore, if you’ve got the time you can toss in crab meat, fresh spinach, or sautéed artichoke hearts (as you see in the pictures below). Even without those additions, this is delicious healthy dish that takes 15 minutes or less. Your pasta will take longer to cook.
5 garlic cloves
Half a medium onion
2 celery stalks
1.5 tablespoons basil, chopped
1/2 cup robust red wine (like a Cabernet)
24 ounce can crushed tomato
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1) Toss peeled garlic, onion, and celery into a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped (you can hand chop these, but it will take longer. I also like the very fine chopped onion in this dish).
2) Add a turn of olive oil to a large sauce pan, heat over medium heat for about 15 seconds. Add garlic and onion and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add basil and sauté for another 30 seconds.
3) Pour in wine and let simmer for about 2 minutes.
4) Stir in can of crushed tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until your pasta is done. If you think you want your sauce spicier, let cook for about a minute before taste testing, then add more crushed red pepper, about half a teaspoon at a time.