I threw together a quick and easy arrabiata sauce for dinner tonight. It turned out so well!
Unfortunately, I did the unthinkable…and…didn’t take any pictures!
Sorry ’bout that. I just threw this together and the pangs of hunger REB and I were feeling took over and my camera sat sadly on the coffee table. Sigh.
I’ll take a picture and throw it on here tomorrow or something, but it’s pretty idiot-proof to make. It’s not too terrible for you either. If you use whole wheat pasta or don’t gorge yourself on regular pasta, it’s even better. Oh come on. It’s the new year. I too am in the “must-lose-weight” mode. I predict this will pass in about a month or two. (kidding. …sort of…)
Aparnabiata sauce featuring:
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•2 small yellow onions (approx. 1 1/2 cups), roughly chopped
•1 cup diced green bell pepper (I took the easy way out and bought frozen veggies – win!)
•1 cup frozen stir-fry veggies (gets you the mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, red bell pepper and other vitamin-rich veggies you need!)
•4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
•1 15-oz. can petite diced tomatoes (get the plain kind; nothing doused in garlic oil or chilies or anything like that)
•3/4 of a 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
•4 ounces tomato paste
•3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
•1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
•1/2 teaspoon dried basil
[by all mean, use fresh herbs. I just didn't have any on hand]
•Approx. 7 dashes Franks Red Hot sauce
•1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (I probably added more for that extra kick)
•1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I think I used a little more though)
[I probably should have used one of my all-time favorite condiments, Siracha, but sadly, it didn't make the cut. ...This time...]
•1/2 cup frozen Boca crumbles (totally optional. I’m a vegetarian and added this to get some protein)
1). Fill a large stock pot with water to get it boiling for the pasta. While that gets going, heat the oil in a large skillet.
2). Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Create a small bed so your garlic won’t burn and then add the garlic. Cook another 2-3 minutes.
3). Add the bell peppers and stir-fry veggies. Since I used frozen, I really just had to cook them through. If you take the time to cut up fresh vegetables, you’ll need to cook them a bit longer so they cook properly and get tender.
4). Drain some of the liquid from the diced tomato can, then add the tomatoes and stir
5). You’ll want to salt and pepper the dish at this point – don’t use too much though!
6). Add half the herbs and stir.
7). Add the crushed tomato, and the rest of the herbs and stir well
8). Add in the tomato paste. I love this stuff. It adds such a depth of flavor and helps thicken the entire sauce. So delish!
9). Let the sauce come to mild boil (basically let it simmer) for a good 10 minutes or so.
10). Your water is probably boiling happily at this point, so salt it liberally (optional, but doing so will allow you to flavor the pasta) and add in your pasta. I used Penne regata (the kind with the lines so it holds all the nom sauce). You can really use whatever pasta you want, though.
11). Once the sauce has been bubbling away, add in the red wine vinegar, hot sauce, red pepper flakes and the cayenne pepper. Stir and taste. I had to do this a few times because I kept thinking it wasn’t spicy enough. So I added a lot more pepper flakes and a lot more cayenne pepper. Yum!
12). In the last 5 minutes, I threw in the frozen Boca crumbles so they could heat through. Tasted one more time to add any more salt or spices I needed and we were done!
What I loved about this sauce is that it’s mild when you first taste it, then you feel the kick and heat of the spices on the back of your tongue. It’s such a great combination!