Below is a recipe for a lovely meal and suggested tunes for your romantic day.
Penne Arrabbiata AKA “angry pasta”
You’re wondering why I suggest you make a pasta called “angry” pasta for Valentine’s Day. Here’s why. It’s easy and so impressive. I mean it. Your love will be thrilled.
1 pound penne pasta
4 pancetta slices, minced (or if you’re me, you buy the minced pancetta and plop it all in there.)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes , depending on how spicy you want it (I make it a bit more spicy at 3/4 teaspoon)
1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (or 1 ½ cups fresh chopped tomatoes — go for the San Marzano by Cento – it’s worth it for this special meal)
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese (grated)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (grated)
2 Tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and pancetta and cook until pancetta is golden brown (about 10 minutes at medium heat– stir frequently.) Add tomatoes with liquid, salt, and crushed red pepper, and let it come to a boil and thicken. Break up the tomatoes with your hands once they’re in the pan. (about 30 minutes).
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water, according to package instructions, until tender.
Add two tablespoons of butter to the pasta and then add the drained pasta to the sauce toss to coat pasta. Then toss again with all that yummy cheese.
Serve immediately. You might want to add a bit more cheese as a flourish but trust me, there’s enough.
Serve with Villa Maria Malbec (New Zealand) and play Steve Tyrell’s New Standards. You will have a lovely night.
Happy Valentine’s Day!