Chris really loves pasta all’arrabiata, and after many years of carbtastic R&D, he’s got the recipe just right! This is one of our new favourite dinners, because it’s cheap, healthy-ish, easy to make, and you can keep all the bits in your store cupboard or fridge to use whenever you fancy:
You could make this even thriftier if you use a generic passata, dried herbs and homemade breadcrumbs, but we’ve found that the fresh rosemary and garlic, plus panko breadcrumbs and Pizza Express passata make for a really special treat.
(serves 2 greedy people)
200g dried pasta of your choice
½ can Pizza Express passata (we’ve only found it in Waitrose so far)
3–5 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs (look in the oriental section of larger supermarkets)
3 cloves garlic, crushed or grated (Chris tells me he often sneaks in a bit more)
Dried chilli flakes
Salt & pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Step 1: Saucy!
Get a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. While you’re waiting, start the sauce – in a smaller pan, soften the crushed garlic cloves in plenty of olive oil over a medium-low heat. Just as the colour starts to turn, chuck in half a can of passata and a whole stalk of rosemary. Leave to simmer, stirring now and then.
You can freeze the leftover passata for next time, or stick it in the fridge and have pasta again tomorrow, you crazy cat. The Pizza Express passata that we use is (obviously) great for making pizzas too, so you could have an Italian weekend! I’m so full of excellent ideas, as long as all of the ideas you enjoy involve developing late-onset diabetes.
Step 2: Pasta!
Once the water’s at a rolling boil, throw in the pasta, stir and set a timer so you don’t overcook it. We don’t add salt or oil to the water, because frankly it seems to make no difference whatsoever – we are pasta mavericks. Just stir it occasionally.
Step 3: Pangrattato!
These toasted panko breadcrumbs are a little bit of a faff, but they are so scrumptious you won’t mind.
Chop up a stalksworth of rosemary leaves along with generous amounts of sea salt and pepper (the rough salt helps break up the leaves and release the piney flavour). Stir in the panko breadcrumbs and then throw the whole lot into a little pan to which you’ve added a generous glug of olive oil; toast until golden brown and crunchy. You’ll really need to watch them so they don’t burn – fork and fold through to keep them moving.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Remove the rosemary stalk from your sauce, then stir the sauce through the pasta. If someone in your house doesn’t like chilli (*cough*), you can serve up her plateful now, the uncultured cow, then shake some dried chilli flakes into the pan and stir through. Go as hot as you dare!
Serve up, then sprinkle over some pangrattato crumbs. Chris says he also drizzles MORE olive oil on at this point, which I didn’t know. Oh dear.
Here’s Eddie Izzard’s Darth Vader ordering penne all’arrabiata in the Death Star canteen. In Lego, naturally.