Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don't piss me off. I do it well enough on my own.

I am not what you might call 'graceful.' In the past six months or so, I've punctured my scalp on the medicine cabinet, had X-rays taken after landing chin first in a midnight fall, fallen teeth-first into my towel rack, and stubbed more toes than I can possibly remember. Within the first three months at my agency, I ended up at Urgent Care twice with Exacto blade-inflicted wounds (one resulting in a now permanently numb fingertip and a note in my medical file immortalizing my "self-inflicted stab wound"). I'm like a walking worker's comp suit.

Tonight was, of course, no different. Granted, it was only me slamming the back of my head on the bottom of the freezer door as I was digging around the fridge for the asparagus, but the resulting headache, mixed with Ramona's fondness for bitching nonstop at the back door about the sad state of her spoiled indoor cat life (You wanna live outside, Cat? Really? Really??) just pissed me off tonight.

Apparently, Hubby had somehow foreseen this evening's events, and requested pasta with Arrabiata ("Angry" in Italian) sauce. Luckily for him, he didn't piss me off, Arrabiata sauce is easy (even though it's made basically from scratch), and I really needed some recipes this week that will help use up the red Fresno chiles that are growing like crazy right now before that starts annoying me too. (They're right next to our tomatoes, which are NOT producing, but that's a complaint for another day)

If you don't have fresh chiles, and don't feel like buying them (why?) then just use a tsp or so of dried red chile flakes. Or enough to make the sauce angry. And if you want, just buy a can of crushed tomatoes. Hubby had the gall to ask why I hadn't done just that as he watched me stick my (clean) hand in the can to squeeze the whole tomatoes, but dammit it was fun and made me feel better.

Pasta with Arrabiata Sauce
Olive oil (less than a tbsp)
3 large garlic cloves, smashed (I used the back of a wooden spoon)
One brown onion, diced
2 red chiles, finely chopped
Half a carrot, shredded with a cheese grater (or about 6 baby carrots, but a regular one would have been easier and saved my fingers)
1 tsp dried thyme (or 2-3 tsp fresh)
1 large can whole tomatoes
salt to taste
1 package fresh linguine or other pasta
Freshly shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese, to top

In large stock pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic, and stir often for about a minute. Add onion and chiles, and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add carrot and thyme, and cook another 3 minutes or so.

Open the can of tomatoes and pour the liquid into the onion mixture. Make sure your hands are clean, then stick one in the can and get to squeezing. They should be soft enough to kind of explode on impact, so just squeeze until you don't feel any big chunks left. Add tomatoes to sauce, stir, and bring to a boil.

Once it starts boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about a half hour or until it's thickened up and doesn't seem very liquidy (wet?). You can cook it longer if you want; it's going to be edible right away, so don't worry too much about the timing here. Add a bit of salt to taste—probably about 1/2 tsp or so.

When it's just about done, bring a large pot of water (add a good pinch of salt) to a boil, then cook the pasta 2-4 minutes or according to the package's directions. Drain, but don't rinse, then add the pasta to the sauce. Toss pasta and sauce gently, then serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top. And some parsley if you want to be fancy.

(I served with trimmed asparagus that was coated with cooking spray, drizzled with balsamic and sea salt, then roasted in the oven about 12 minutes at 400)

No comments:

Post a Comment