Sometimes tomato sauces can get bogged down with too many flavors and laden with meat.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good spaghetti sauce that is spiced up with herbs such as basil, thyme and oregano as well as containing good Italian sausage seasoned with fennel.
But there are times when I’m in the mood for pasta and just want a fresh-tasting tomato sauce that is simple and light, perhaps even a little spicy.
Recently, I fixed one of our favorite recipes, Baked Shrimp Parmesan, which contains arrabbiata sauce. This tomato sauce is “angry” with spice from using red pepper flakes, and is one that I’ve come to relish. (In Italian, arrabbiata means “angry.”)
A couple of days later, I decided to take a different direction with the sauce, using it over pasta. I also went a step further by adding a green bell pepper, 8 ounces of mushrooms and some basil pesto to the mix. The result was just what I wanted: a simple and light tomato sauce with a little kick.
After holidays filled with meals that centered on meat (turkey, Swedish meatballs, spaghetti with meat sauce), this was a refreshing change of pace.
Arrabiata Sauce with Peppers
2 pints whole tomatoes or 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons basil pesto
8 ounces spaghetti, cooked al dente
Heat oil in sauce pan to medium. Saute bell pepper, onion, garlic and celery until soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 1 hour. Serve over spaghetti.