Arrabbiata Artichoke Penne Pasta Skillet
Arrabbiata is the name of a spicy Italian tomato sauce that means “angry” and rightly so. Paired with whole wheat pasta, San Marzano canned tomatoes, basil, and pecorino romano cheese it becomes a pleasing yet slightly angry pasta dish. Better yet it is made all in one large skillet in less than an hour. Rather than boil the pasta in water it is simmered in the tomato sauce and vegetable broth which is much more toothsome than cooked separately.
Having toured several parts of Italy through the years I came away with one very sound understanding of the cuisine: most Italian dishes are quite simple and the key to making them authentic is in the quality of the ingredients. You may have noticed that I always take a picture of the ingredients for each recipe that I produce. That is because if you attempt to make one of these recipes and use ingredients other than what I use, the outcome will be different. In a simple recipe like this, it is even truer. The two most important ingredients to replicate in this recipe are the canned tomatoes and penne rigate pasta. When purchasing San Marzano tomatoes, it is important that they are “certified” San Marzano tomatoes. The variety of San Marzano tomatoes are sometimes grown in the United States, but they will not taste the same as those grown in Italy due to the terroir (soil, topography, and climate) hence “certified”. Since these tomatoes are the base of the sauce please don’t make the mistake of using a lesser brand. Also always buy canned tomatoes with BPA-free can lining. When purchasing a whole wheat penne make sure that it is made from 100% durum whole wheat. Durum wheat is high protein wheat used in most commercial Italian pastas. If made from other types of wheat it will not have the chewy toothsome quality that holds up to this type of skillet cooking method and may take more or less liquid and cooking times. The word “rigate” means ridges. The ridges are designed to have the sauce cling to their somewhat tattered edges ensuring every bite has sauce.
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1 (28 ounces) can whole peeled tomatoes in their juice (Certified San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes)
4 cups vegetable broth (32 ounces), divided
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (how angry do you want it?)
1 pound whole wheat penne rigate (bionaturae Organic 100% Whole Wheat penne rigate)
1 teaspoons salt
1 (14 ounces) can artichoke hearts quartered
½ cup fresh basil leaves torn into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup pecorino romano cheese, finely grated
1. Separate the tomato juice from the tomatoes. Add one cup of vegetable broth to the tomato juice. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hands into bite-sized pieces. Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet or large sauce pot until it shimmers. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for thirty seconds. Add the tomatoes and juice. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for twenty minutes until thickened.
2. Add the remaining vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and salt. Simmer for eight minutes until the pasta starts to soften stirring frequently. Add the artichokes and simmer for another four minutes or until the pasta is al dente (almost tender to the tooth) and the broth has turned to a sauce.
3. Stir in the basil and cheese. Taste, Think, Transform with salt and/or red pepper flakes.