Monday, October 10, 2005
Skip The Jar, Use The Can
I don't see how people can stand using those nasty jarred pasta sauces like Rag-Eww or even Classic-Uh-Oh when it's just as easy to make your own. Funny enough, it comes out of a can.
The following is a recipe, adapted from one of Mark Bitmann's, for Arrabiata Sauce, which literally translated means "Angry Sauce" in Italian. Whoever invented it was probably angry from eating yucky jarred sauces and then came up with this one. It's fast and incredibly easy to make.
(adapted from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, cut into chunks or slices
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes, drained and crushed with a fork
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
*Heat olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic becomes quite brown--but not black--about 3-4 minutes. (Bittman says 7-8 minutes, but I strongly disagree. 7-8 minutes over medium-high will yield black, bitter garlic for sure.)
*Add tomatoes to the skillet along with salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes saucy, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Violà! There you have it. Browning the garlic and red pepper flakes in hot olive oil first gives the tomato sauce a smoky, spicy dimension that you'll never get out of that jarred stuff. Serve with penne pasta and some grated pecorino-romano, and you've got a simple pasta dish with some serious bite.
P.S. I have to admit, though, that I do keep a jar of the jarred stuff in the fridge for emergencies!