I love spicy pasta. Well, I like spicy food in general, but I especially like spicy pasta. One of my favorites is arrabbiata sauce. Arrabbiata is Italian for angry, which is one of my favorite parts of the sauce. I mean, who doesn't like angry pasta?
The traditional arrabiata sauce is basically tomato, garlic, and red chili pepper cooked in olive oil. Which is easy. So easy in fact that I wanted to spice it up a bit. I decided to improve on an old favorite by playing around with the ingredients. I decided to make a vodka-arrabiata sauce. But I've never made a vodka sauce before. And while searching for a good recipe, I ran across Mary's vodka cream sauce. I thought the cream would serve as a nice counterpart to the spicy red chili pepper of the arrabbiata sauce. I did reduce the amount of cream though - it's not the primary aspect of this dish and you don't need a lot to make the sauce creamy.
The result is an impossibly creamy, spicy sauce. It's pasta with a kick. I made it with penne, but in the future I think penne rigate, or even rigatoni would be a better choice as the ridges would catch and hold the sauce a little better. Although, as you can see, this makes a nice, thick chunky sauce which seems to cling pretty well.
1/2 box of penne pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 sprig oregano
1/3 cup vodka
1 can peeled plum tomatoes, drained
salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
- Cook the penne according to directions on box. Preheat oven to 375. Heat the oil in an oven proof pan. Cook the onions until translucent.
- Add the garlic, red pepper, oregano, and cook just until fragrant - 30 seconds.
- Add the vodka and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 20 minutes.
- Add in the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Let cool.
- Puree the tomato mixture until smooth and return to the pan, reheat. Add the cream and stir.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce and cook until heated through.