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NEW RECIPE: Pasta Arrabbiata

My Poor Driver met with three siding contractors today. Our 20+year-old house needs so much attention and we are trying to have all the work finished while we are home this summer... and we won't be home much this summer as Lisa and Lenny are having a baby girl in August!

Before I get too deep into the pasta sauce recipe below, here is a photo of the Cutest Boy Ever - Lisa bought him a pinwheel today and Leo was completely transfixed:

Mind Blown.

When Lisa said she bought Leo a pinwheel at a park kiosk today, my first thought was: they still make pinwheels?

Another photo to share - today was National Martini Day... but it's martini day around here fairly often...

Since it was National Martini Day, I did break-out the crystal. I'm all fancy like that. Kinda ironic that Our Nation celebrated a martini when Jimmy Buffett was (no doubt) celebrating margaritas as he played a show at the Fort Worth (Texas) Coyote Drive-In - and broadcast his show LIVE via drive-in movie screens across the country. Leave it to Mr. Buffett to figure out how to make money across the entire nation while singing in Texas.

The recipe I am sharing today is a super-simple people-pleaser. We eat this sauce fairly often and I am sorry to have not posted it earlier. RV-easy, just a few pantry-staple ingredients, vegan, vegetarian, cholesterol-free, filling and ready in less than 30 minutes. Perfect.

PASTA ARRABBIATA: 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. Serves 6.

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Organic cherries are in the markets this week, so I may have made a little cherry tart in puff pastry:

Until my next update, I remain, your spicy correspondent.