Penne All'Arrabbiata Bianco
Pasta All' Arrabbiata is most of the time cooked with lots of fresh cut up tomatoes. It is a spicy and wonderfully wet pasta dish. Not made with paste or canned sauce, this is a very fresh tasting pasta. In my present days, I often make this dish with the pancetta or sometimes even anchovies as being the star of the show. The roasted red peppers, the pepper flakes and the protein source, such as the pancetta or anchovies give this such a wonderfully flavored meal. I give many of my white pasta dishes an added crunch with pine nuts. For more flavor toss the pine nuts around in a dry skillet to release more of the nutty earthy flavors of this delicate but luscious nut.
I specify in this recipe imported Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. There are many parmesan cheeses on the market, even Romano will work. But my preference to make this white pasta dish really stand out is the higher quality of cheese you use. It is so tender as cheeses go. It melts in your mouth and is not overwhelming with added salt, which a lot of domestic cheeses have. When you have it freshly ground, ask for the meat of the cheese and not the rind, which many local producers will use as fillers to save on their costs. But if you buy it in bulk and grind it yourself, save your rind as many Italian woman do and cook it in tasty bean dishes or soups or baccala. When the meal is finished cooking, take out the rind and toss it.
1 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
2 oz pancetta, cut into thin strips
2 whole, peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped & seeded
2 roasted red peppers sliced thin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cups pine nuts
12 fresh basil leaves, the larger ones julienne and the smaller ones keep whole
1/2 cup Imported Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Pour the olive oil into a large skilled, over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it just begins to sizzle.
Add the pancetta and cook until it is brown, but not crisp.
Add the tomatoes, roasted peppers, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill.
Simmer till all ingredients are incorporated well.
Toss in the pine nuts and the julienned basil leaves and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and toss with the sauce in the skillet. Stir in the grated cheese and decorate with remainder basil leaves. Serve at once.