Venetian-Style Spaghetti all’Arrabbiata
Peppers and spices make this “angry” (all’Arrabbiata) sauce with pasta an Italian classic.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 Fresno or other medium-hot red chili peppers, very thinly sliced (I leave in the seeds – the hotter the better! – but remove them if you want to dial back the heat level a bit)
- 4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.
While the pasta is working, in a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock and saffron to a boil. Lower the heat to a low simmer to keep warm.
In a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid,heat the EVOO, four turns of the pan, over medium heat. Stir in the chili peppers and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and saffron stock; cover and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes burst, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and mash the tomatoes a bit with a potato masher. Stir in the parsley.
Toss the pasta with the sauce and a handful of cheese. Add a splash of the reserved starchy cooking water to combine. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls; top with more cheese, if desired.