Easy Spaghetti Arrabbiata with Black Olives, Green Peppers and Jalapeños 

Pasta all’Arrabbiata (pasta in an arrabbiata sauce), where ‘Arrabbiata‘ literally refers to ‘fiery’ or ‘angry’ in Italian, meaning that the heat comes from the chillies used in the sauce. It is generally said to go best with Penne pasta. Today, I bring to you Spaghetti in an Arrabbiata sauce base with some capsicum, olives and jalapenos, just the way I like it.

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This is typically a tomato-garlic sauce, usually seasoned with some pepper, basil and oregano and a lot of dried red chilli flakes. This is one of my most favourite recipes of all time, as it so quick and easy to make, especially if you have some readily available tomato paste or even better, tomato sauce!

Back in my UK days, the Morrisons below always had a batch of freshly made tomato sauce that sold out in minutes of its arrival. I generally made this when I was extremely hungry, and wanted to cook myself something really quick, say in about 15-20 minutes. In this recipe, however, I used freshly ground tomatoes for the sauce and chilli flakes for the spiciness. I used Durum Wheat pasta; you could use the usual Semolina pasta if you prefer. This dish with some hot garlic bread on the side, is something I can eat probably every single day, yum! 😀

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Ingredients

  • Pasta – Durum Wheat Spaghetti- about a handful (serves 1-2)
  • Garlic – 4 to 5 pods, sliced
  • Onions – 1 medium-sized, sliced
  • Olives – about 7 to 8, sliced
  • Jalapenõs – a few
  • Tomato purée – 1 cup (store-bought or 6-7 tomatoes ground to a purée)
  • Green Capsicum/Bell peppers – 1 big, chopped into medium-sized cubes
  • Chilli flakes – 1 or 2 tsp
  • Mixed herbs – about a tsp
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp, and a dash to serve
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste

Method

Cooking the pasta

  • Heat a pot of water, with a teaspoon of olive oil and some salt. Let it come to a rolling boil.
  • Add in your pasta, and cook for about 10 minutes. Make sure it is not completely cooked through, but almost done, i.e., al dente. 
  • Drain your pasta in a collander and run it through some cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

The Arrabbiata Sauce

  • Heat a pan with a tablespoon of Olive oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add in your garlic. Sauté in medium flame for a minute, or until the garlic turns slightly golden in colour.
  • The, add your onions. Sauté for another couple of minutes, or until they turn translucent.
  • Add your bell peppers first, as they take slightly longer to cook. Cover, and cook until they become a little tender.
  • Then, add your olives and jalapenõs, and stir for a few seconds.

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  • At this point, you can sprinkle some salt, and freshly ground black pepper so the veggies cook faster, and also retain some colour and flavour.

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  • Now, pour in your tomato purée. Season this with some salt and pepper.
  • Then, add about 1/4th tsp of mixed herbs (or oregano if you prefer), and some chilli flakes to your sauce.

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  • Cook in a medium-high flame uncovered for about 8-10 minutes. Let all the raw smell disappear, the water evaporate and the sauce get thicker.

Making your Spaghetti Arrabbiata

  • It is now time to add your cooked pasta to the sauce. Give it a good mix and cook this for another 3-4 minutes in a low flame. Check for salt and season with more pepper and herbs if needed.

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  • Switch off the flame. Drizzle some Olive oil or butter on top if desired and give it one final mix.

Serve hot with some grated cheese on top, and some cheese toast or garlic bread on the side! 🙂 Enjoy!!

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TIPS AND TWEAKS

  • Make sure your pasta is not overcooked, as will turn the dish a bit sticky and soggy. It will end up absorbing all the sauce and you will end up a dry dish.
  • Make sure your tomatoes are ripe, i.e., they are good red colour. This will give your sauce the desired consistency and also immense flavour.
  • While cooking your pasta, adding a few drops of oil will ensure your pasta is non-sticky and separate even after cooling down.
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