Writing about what feeds me.
Yes, that is what I say whenever I’m at the local Adonis and I’m about to buy some pre-made sauce/crap in a jar. Don’t YOU?!
Well, that is more or less what I figured when I almost bought some store-brand arrabbiata sauce for my pasta: “Why not try making it yourself!?!” And thus begins this blog entry on DIY pasta sauce.
It’s really quite simple. Canned tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic, seasoning, a lil’ sugar and some S&P. Add some veggies to make it really robust and flavorful and you’ll pretty much never go back to pre-made sauce again… right?? =)
Oh yeah, if you wanna add some ground beef or whatever, then fine – knock yourself out!
What we’re dealing with here though, is my foray into a particular type of pasta sauce that has all the kick and punch you need. “Arrabbiata” literally means “angry” in Italian, or… at least… that’s what Wiki says. I’ve enjoyed it at restaurants typically accompanied with some grilled and sliced chicken breasts, but for this experiment, I wanted to make it almost as basic as possible. By “almost”, I mean that I resisted the urge to throw my entire week’s worth of produce in there as well. I did, however, find a recipe that included spinach in it, so I allowed myself that one extra ingredient at least.
Referencing the “Una Mamma Italiana” blog, I pretty much made this happen:
– used diced tomatoes in a can, no salt added
– used equiv. of two small cans of tomato paste with no salt added as well
– therefore, added roughly 2 tbl of sea salt later on during simmering
– added SPINACH (not baby), chopped – approx 1 cup or less, but could have used a bit more. This was also during the simmering process (I forgot it was in my original plan)
– used way more than 5 cloves of garlic!! muahahaha!
– brand of red wine was light in flavor, so I added an extra 1/4 cup during simmering as well
Overall taste was not bad. Spiciness was good. Glad I didn’t add lemon as per 2nd recipe reference, since the tomatoes were quite sour enough.
Throwing some kind of protein on top of this would be nice as well. =)
LEFTOVER REVISIT (2 days later):
Here’s where it gets exciting. The leftover sauce remained in a small pot in the fridge for about the next two days (which, I imagine, may have allowed the flavors to “stew” and mature a bit). I knew I wasn’t going to waste it, so I decided to simmer up some veggies (in lieu of having a protein partner to the pasta… btw, you like that alliteration there, eh?), namely onions, minced garlic, mushrooms and zucchini. I threw in some white wine and a stray, chopped cherry bomb pepper in there and then… BAM! Added the arrabbiata until it was all heated, tossed it with some tri-color penne rigata and then… OH. MY. GOSH! Tuesday night leftover dinner heaven!!
The flavors were just so much richer and heartier. The vegetables were perfect in combination with the pasta and the sauce. I definitely could eat this dish on a regular basis WITHOUT any accompanying poultry.
I’m VERY happy with the end result of this entire attempt at making my own sauce. I seriously see NO point in buying pre-made anymore. Cheers!!
(Try this one next time?)