There cannot be a simpler sauce to prepare. This few-ingredient pasta sauce is a favorite from the area around Rome, and it comes together in about the same time needed to boil water and cook pasta - making it a few-ingredient two-pot RV-perfect meal. Penne is traditional, but any shape will do, especially spaghetti. Arrabbiata translates to "angry" - this sauce is spicy. Use one teaspoon of dried chilies for a mild heat, 2 teaspoons for spicy and 3 teaspoons for the perfect heat. Pasta Arrabbiata is a lightly-sauced dish, and meat and dairy free... but no one will notice.
1/3 cup best quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
4-6 cloves garlic, minced (I use 6)
1-3 teaspoons dried red chili flakes (I use 3)
3 cups (about 26-28 ounces) canned crushed/finely diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
1 pound dried penne (or other pasta)
Fresh basil chiffonade or fresh Italian parsley leaves, as garnish, optional
Heat a small Dutch oven (or large sauce pan) over a medium flame. Coat the bottom of the pan with the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and stir constantly for about five minutes, until the onion is soft, but not yet browning. Add the garlic and continue to stir, at a slightly lower flame, until the onion begins to brown, another few minutes. Do not let the onion mixture burn. Sprinkle the dried chilies over and stir for one minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, stir well, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions or until al dente. Drain the pasta. Pour the tomato sauce over the drained pasta. Serve, garnished with fresh basil or Italian parsley.