“Arrabbiata” literally means “angry” in Italian.
This sauce is red, and it’s hot, and it’s fiercely delicious.
There’s nothing angry about it, in fact. It’s just flaming good. (The “angry” term comes from the spicy red pepper goodness it entails).
I have fond memories of childhood special occasions of dining out, and always diving into the Penne Arrabbiata at restaurants. Always. It was my very, very favorite.
Josephine’s in Denver had the very best.
Spicy hot, but creamy good, filling every single ridge of the penne rigate on my plate, and pleasing my tummy in every way – oh yum.
My adolescence changed my tasters just a tad, as I developed my preference and radar for the exquisite and most expensive.
Wild caught salmon with a balsamic reduction and truffled asparagus or, perhaps, sesame crusted ahi tuna with a sweet soy glaze. Oh yes, I became rather predictable, even outside my beloved “arrabbiata.”
While my taste buds still yearn for the very best, nostalgia calls for a bit of “fiercely delicious” red sauce these days.
1 shallot, minced
1 Tbs. Kerrygold butter or olive oil
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
sea salt and pepper
1 14 oz. can Muir Glen Organics diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 – 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. fresh ground cinnamon
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil
In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute the shallot until golden brown in melted butter or heated oil. Add the chicken strips, season with salt and pepper, and sear to perfection. Remove the chicken and set aside.
In the same large skillet, add the diced tomatoes to the shallots and any remaining “fat.” Add more if you feel it to be necessary. Stir in tomato paste, keeping the pan at medium heat. Reduce for about 3-5 minutes. Return the chicken to the mixture and add red pepper flakes. Allow the sauce to continue to thicken, stirring occasionally.
Add additional salt and pepper (if you really like it jazzy, like me), cinnamon, vinegar, and fresh basil.
Serve over your favorite grain-free pasta, cauliflower, or even go for the penne rigate this time. Why not?