Peter’s Spicy Arrabiata
This is Peter.
Peter is a true foodie. What do I mean by that? He really cares about the food he eats, takes his time to prepare good quality meals and buys the ingredients from the best, most authentic sellers around. Olive oil? He buys it from Greece. White wine? He’s got a delicious traditional German one stored in the fridge. And pasta? Come on, you can guess this one – his pasta comes from Italy.
Before he gets chopping, Peter is sharpening his knifes!
Ready to chop? Okay, let’s go!
Before moving to Munich, Peter spent his early childhood in Hungary. He has vivid memories from his time there, many of which show his grandmother cooking delicious food. Everything she cooked with and used for her dishes came from the garden. His family owned chickens, pigs, a vegetable garden and lived self-sustained to a great extent. Peter tells me that whatever his grandmother made was incredibly tasty and full of hearty flavours – soups and stews with beans, peas, chicken or pork. One day, his grandfather asked him:
Peter, do you know how to kill a chicken?
Peter, it is time for you to know how to kill a chicken!
So that is what he did. He killed that chicken. Once and then never again. It taught him to value where food comes from and what it requires to eat meat. It taught him appreciation. For his family, ending another animal’s life in order to feed their children is the most natural thing in the world. But in contrast to nowadays society that lives in cities and buys plastic-wrapped chicken breast, his family is able to go all the way from taking care of it, feeding it, giving it shelter and completing the killing act with their own hands, being grateful for what the animal provides for them.
What is the dish that Peter chose to cook for us today? A classic among pasta dishes: he went for al’arrabiata. Arrabiata is a pasta sauce that consists of onion, olive oil, a lot and even more tomatoes, chili, fresh basil and simple deliciousness!
When I asked him how he came up with that dish and what it meant for him, he told me a little tale. When living in Munich, he met a lovely woman. When they started to date each other, it turned out that both of them had the same favorite little Italian restaurant that served authentic, traditional food. Their partnership was obviously bound to happen (I mean, they had the same favorite restaurant, for god’s sake!). So what did they do? They went out for dinner. To that same little Italian restaurant where the chefs cook exactly how they learned in Italy, where each ingredient’s origin is well documented and cared about and where everything tastes delightful. Whenever they went to this wondrous little ristorante, Peter usually ordered a Pizza with lots of cheese and lardo (pork fat that is cut very thinly – he swears on that stuff) and she always ordered pasta al’arrabbiata. At first, Peter wouldn’t quite understand why she ordered pasta if she could also have pizza – but she loved it so much, that he started to cook it for her at home. This is when he first developed his own perfect arrabbiata recipe – and then fell in love with the dish.
He made it many times since and knows exactly what it should taste like. This is also why he is very critical of every ingredient-change. Some tomatoes aren’t ripe enough, others are too acidic, the olive oil must be of the highest quality and he happens to have a strong opinion about the type of pasta.
Yes, there are rules. Homemade and tasty ones!
Prep Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 45 min
For this recipe you will need:
4 cloves of garlic
1 red onions
4 tbsp olive oil
6 bay leaves
4 cans cherry tomatoes (or 1kg fresh ones if they are in season)
2 handfuls fresh basil, chopped
salt & pepper
1 tsp chili flakes
parmesan, freshly grated
- In a big pot, heat the olive oil and fry the minced garlic and onion until the onion slightly caramelizes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves and chili flakes allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Chop the basil and add to the pot along with pepper and salt.
- While the sauce is bubbling away for another 15 minutes, cook the pasta according to the instructions of the package.
- Once the pasta is cooked and drained, place on a plate and generously top with the arrabiata sauce and freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy a cool glass of white wine along with this dish, I recommend 10 out of 10!
When eating this bowl of pasta (topped with lots and lots of freshly grated parmesan, we aren’t Italian amateurs!), I had to close my eyes for a moment. It was saucy, full of rich tomato-flavour, spicy, fruity, tangy and oh my sweet lord, so delicious!
Thank you for sharing your knowledge of food and making such delicious arrabiata, Peter!
By the way, whenever I will go to Munich in this life, I shall pay that restaurant a visit – it simply sounds too good!