Did someone say Arrabiata?
Oh yes, nothing like the tart ‘nd sweet taste of a delicately balanced napoletana sauce, chuck in some chillis and you’ve got a heart-and-belly warming Arrabiata for the win!
Sounds like a recipe for a delicious pasta dish to go with a chilled night in. But wait a minute… what about us wretched humans whose bellies are a couple functions short of a trash can? We usually run in the other direction at the mere mention of pasta, with its foreboding of painful spasms, restroom sabbaticals and involuntary carbon contributions. Hey, we’re all human!
Enter Sainsbury’s, to the rescue with their stock of Doves Farm’s yum-tastic version of Brown Rice Spaghetti. And – you’re not gonna believe it – but it actually tastes like spaghetti. For real! It can be cooked until al dente, and those usually mushy bits of g-free dough come out as individual tentacles of a beautiful dense and chewy consistency. Agh thanks Sainsbury’s, you’ve done it again hey! Guess we can’t be surprised with around 3 aisles – no, not rows, AISLES – of gluten free products. Gosh London, if it didn’t take 753 minutes to get from South to South East I’d actually seriously consider a long-term love affair… Ha, typical for a SAfa’s love to be won through the stomach, but there’s something to be said about a lover that doesn’t make you feel nauseous after a little while! And I know just how difficult it can be to labour through all the brands jumping on the g-free bandwagon. I’ve attached a link to Doves Farm website (and a South African alternative) at the end of the article.
So there’s not much secret to the sauce, except that fresh chillies always do best. I cook by feel, so just remember to balance out the tomato – she can be a real tart – with enough sweetness. Keep it natural, keep it real!
1t coconut oil
1 large onion
All the garlic
2-3 frrrresh chillies
2T dried Italian herbs like origanum, basil and thyme
1 can tomato puree
1 can peeled Italian tomatoes
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
1/2C red wine
Small handful olives
A handful of fresh herbs if you can be bothered, like origanum, basil or flat-leaf parsley
OR Fresh English / baby spinach
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
For the carnivores:
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked separately with garlic, lemon and more italian herbs
A bit o’bacon
If you’re eating meat, cook it up first as you’ll add it towards the end of the preparation.
Fry up the onions with oil, on medium heat for a couple minutes. Chuck in the garlic ‘nd dried herbs, allowing to sizzle for another while. Stir in the tomato paste and fry for a minute before adding the canned and chopped tomato.
Turn up the heat and add the chilli, honey, red wine and one handful of cherry tomatoes. Season with plenty S+P then reduce to low heat so the sauce can simmer into magic for 15-30 minutes. Depending how saucy the consistency is at this point, choose to simmer without the lid to reduce liquid. Arrabiata is best when thick and gooey.
Not quite yet time to put your feet up… cook the pasta in the meantime, adding plenty olive oil. Non-wheat pasta sticks easily so be sure to stir it up regularly.
Check the sauce for seasoning then add the rest of the cherry tomatoes, the olives and some of the fresh herbs. Leave the sauce to bubble and chortle away for another 5-10 minutes, until the tomatoes are just cooked so they pop in your mouth when biting into them. Alternatively, if you have too much time on your hands you can chuck this handful of tomatoes in the oven with olive oil, garlic and thyme for 10 mins at 180’C, and add them when serving.
Serve the pasta in deep bowls. More sauce than pasta is a winner for this dish. Top with fresh herbs and parmesan, kick up your feet and enjoy!
Order the brown rice spaghetti, fusilli and more from Doves Farm. They also have plenty other gluten-free, fair trade and organic goodies and recipe ideas. Currently not delivered to South Africa, but Orgran stocks yummy gluten free options like veg pastas, crackers, pizza base mixes… and they’re available nationwide.