i usually hate my own spaghetti or marinara sauces. they’re way too bland for me. i don’t know what i’m expecting when i make/eat pasta but i furiously do not like my version of it. so i’m experimenting with sauce recipes from different places and expect i’ll be trying one of these “simmer for hours” recipes to see if i can come up with that phantom flavor i keep going for and missing. sunday night was meatless night and a very simple recipe for penne all’arrabbiata was tucked away in Mark Bittman’s Best Recipes in the World book. that’s a spicy sort of sauce and if anything makes stuff taste better, it’s red pepper flakes.
recipe adapted from Mark Bittman’s Best Recipes in the World
salt and pepper
garlic cloves, cut in slices or chunks
white mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
shallot, diced finely
red pepper flakes
plum tomatoes, cored and rough chopped, or a 28 ounce can of tomatoes drained and chopped
fresh oregano, chopped
fresh basil, sliced
grated parmesan or pecorino romano
heat the olive oil (he uses 1/4 cup – i don’t think i used quite that much). cook your garlic pieces and pepper flakes together until the garlic has browned. stir in the shallots and mushrooms. cook until softened. salt and pepper all this. add in your tomatoes. add in the basil and oregano. cook until everything gets saucy, something like 15-20 minutes. cook the pasta al dente. drain and serve with the sauce. garnish with parsley and grated cheese.