Red and Robust – Arrabiatta Sauce

Simple Christmas day dinner with homemade cavatelli (compliments of Assenti Pasta in Little Italy, San Diego) and my version of a homemade arrabiatta sauce, complete with salad and garlic bread.


An arrabiatta sauce is red pasta sauce with a spicy kick!  I started by browning a couple of 1/4 inch-thick slices of pancetta (small cubed) in 2-3 TBLS olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.  When golden brown, remove pancetta from oil with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Add 1/2 diced yellow onion to hot oil and season with salt/pepper.  Cook about 5 minutes until translucent.  Add in 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  Cook for another minute or so, stirring constantly so not to scorch the garlic.  Add in a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes and stir.  Add back the cooked pancetta and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.  While simmering, add in a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a splash of red wine.  Season to taste with more salt, pepper, and/or red pepper flakes to your individual liking.)

Cook pasta, drain, and serve with spicy arrabiatta sauce – buon appetito!

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