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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pasta Arrabiata Sauce, and Bake too!

A while back, a friend of mine sent me this awesomer recipe for pasta sauce. Those who know me know that Cynthia eats her pasta with: butter, salt, pepper and a tiny bit of tomato juice (if the migraines have been kept at bay!) NO SAUCE NEVER! NUH-UH! but this stuff! its... oh sooooo good! I've made this often, I'm made and given it as a get well soon dish, as a you GOTTA TRY THIS dish, and as a I love you my friend dish. Whichever way you make it, for whatever reason, you'll love it!

This recipe takes very little time, it freezes well, and it feeds well too! Best of all, you can add stuff, or omit stuff, or change it up! This has to be the easiest pasta sauce EVER! So here we GO!

The first picture is the pasta arrabiata bake. It was yummy! The second picture was the sauce when it was done and ready to package. YUM! More pics at the bottom for your drooling enjoyment.

Pasta Arrabbiata

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 8 servings (about 1-1/2 cups each )

Ingredients: (please see notes at the bottom)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (you really CAN get away with 1/4 cup)

5 cloves garlic, minced (about 2-1/2 teaspoons)

1 can (29 ounces) crushed tomatoes (I used the ones with Italian spices in it)

1 can (28 ounces) petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound dry penne pasta, uncooked

1 cup (4 ounces) freshly shredded parmigiano-reggiano, divided (if you're like me, this will NOT be enough cheese ok? ^_^)

1/4 cup thickly sliced fresh basil


1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat 1 minute. Add garlic, cook 3 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, stir in red pepper, oregano and salt.

Stove top version:
2. Cook pasta in large saucepan according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return pasta and the reserved cooking water to the same saucepan: stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Set aside.

3. Stir basil into prepared sauce. Add 2 cups of the sauce to pasta mixture; mix lightly. Spoon onto serving platter; top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Baked version: see pictures below for "quantities"
2. Cook pasta al dente, drain thoroughly.
3. In baking dish (I used an 8X8" non-stick cake pan), cover bottom lightly with sauce, add a handful of cheese, add noodles to about 1/2-1/4 inch from edge of pan. Another handful of cheese. Pour sauce evenly over top, (this is really to your preference. I put about 1.5 cups). Add more cheese (I love cheese...) and parmesan.
4. Bake at 350 celcius for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly.
5. Serve immediately, but its also awesome reheated.


Note: you can use less oil, if you wish. I don’t put oregano in mine, as I’m allergic to it. And I usually omit the salt, the rest is salty enough. I do add about ½ tsp of parmesan with the final spices. And I use dried basil, instead of fresh (cheaper ;) Lastly, I always use regular mozza, and parmesan (fresh whenever possible), never tried it with the other cheeses.

You can use any pasta shape you want. I have to be careful with the TYPE of pasta as some gives me heartburn. If you look at the ingredients of a pasta bag, you'll see one of 2 or 3 things. 1> durum wheat and iron/minerals and all that jazz. THIS is the pasta I cannot eat. 2> Durum wheat or 3> Durum Wheat and Aqua. Take a look next time you're buying pasta, without the added "stuff", the pasta tastes different, its a little sweeter (not much really), does NOT cause heartburn or indigestion (ever wonder why your hubby/wife can't eat pasta?) and I find, safer (in the sense that, I want to decide how much minerals etc., to add to my diet, its pretty much in everything else really :|

Also, I've used penne, rottini, spirals, spaghetti, and rottini or spirals I find are best. Why? (they can really hang on to all that gooooey cheese! lol!)

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