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Pasta Arrabiata

What you need: 

500 g/1 tin/1 bottle Passata di Pomodoro (sieved tomatoes - no additives or extra herbs)
small handful of dried/fresh parsley
pinch of dried red chilies or one smallish red or green chilies
cupped handful of dried onion (if you have it) or a finely diced small onion
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped/diced
500g pasta (of your choice - can be long or short)
olive oil
2 cupped handfuls of salt
enough water to fill a largish pan
salt
pepper

What you do: 

Fill pan with water, add 2 generous handfuls of salt and put on the heat. Take a frying pan, and as the water comes to the boil make the sauce.
The sauce is called Arrabiata. Put frying pan on the heat and add a small amount of olive oil. Then add parsley, garlic, onion and chilies. Fry that for around a minute at a good hot heat. Add the sieved tomatoes to the frying pan and maybe a little water on the top…up to you. Leave the sauce to reduce on the top as the pasta cooks. You can add a little seasoning too, if you wish.
When the water is boiling, add your pasta of choice. After 8-10 minutes, check the pasta by getting a fork and tasting it. When the pasta is done, it should not be soft and mushy - so make sure to check occasionally.
When pasta is done, drain the pasta, preferably through a plastic colander. Put the pasta back into the saucepan and poor the sauce over the top. Mix together so that the sauce covers the pasta.

Preparation Time: 
30 minutes
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
2-4

SO HOW'D IT GO?

All of my family is Sicilian and that amount of salt seems pretty typical to me of Italian cooking. I've always been taught to season the dish at every layer, and salting the water is the only way to flavor the pasta. Not that much salt is taken by the pasta anyway while boiling. Also another tip I've been taught is to immediately ladel the hot pasta from the boiling water into the sauce pan without draining it. That way if the sauce gets dry, or if there isn't enough to cover the pasta, you can still ladel a few scoops of the hot starchy water into the whole dish. It will help the sauce stick to the pasta, and make it creamier as well. By the by, this is one of my favorite dishes, great recipe!

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Regarding the salt in this recipe, I have an old Italian cookbook, from maybe the 1920's, and it recommends that you boil pasta in water "as salty as the sea."  I have never actually followed these instructions, because it just seems too salty to me, but if you use at least 5 quarts of water for this recipe (which is how much you should have for 500 grams of pasta) then maybe two handfuls of salt would make it close to sea water.  Though, again, I've never tried making pasta myself with so much salt.

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The sauce recipe sounds good, however, slighty concerned about the amount of salt added to the pasta??!! I assume you mean a couple of pinches!

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