“Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste,” – Mick Jagger, Sympathy for the Devil.
If the devil came to dinner, what would you serve him?
Perhaps Pasta Arrabiata? Because it’s hot as h*ll and pairs well with seitan! Ha ha ha! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
Arrabiata actually means “angry,” and refers to the fieriness of the red chili peppers in the sauce. It’s an extremely simple sauce – no onions, tons of garlic, minimal spices – so it’s all about the heat. (Of course, as always, the heat/anger level is all up to you – from mildly peeved, to devilishly enraged.)
Spooned over sinister-looking black bean pasta, this sauce truly makes for a delicious yet disturbing dish. Set your table with a tattered lace tablecloth and your chipped family china that has seen better days. Dig out your silver or your silver plate – and don’t bother polishing! Pour your darkest, reddest wine. Light some candles – and you’ll have a dinner Lucifer or Lestat will enjoy!
In Charlotte, I’ve found black bean rotini at Trader Joe’s, and black bean spaghetti at Harris Teeter. If you can’t find black bean pasta, no worries. Remember my Halloween Cheezecake? Same principles apply here. Red sauce, white pasta, black plates – and the same tattered, tarnished adornments. Remember, anyone can gross out their guests at a Halloween dinner party! It’s much more fun to just be deeply disturbing.
This recipe is fairly traditional – no onions, lots of garlic, and adjust the red pepper flakes to the level you can handle. Usually the sauce is blended; I prefer a half-and-half of crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes for a more interesting texture. I do add a little Italian seasoning blend for extra “oomph.” Don’t skip the sugar; it really helps balance the heat. Finally, do try to use fresh basil if at all possible.
Ingredients for The Devil’s Pasta Arrabiata:
One package Black Bean Pasta (typically 12 – 16 oz.) Substitute regular penne if you cannot locate black bean.
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced or Pressed
1/4 – 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes* (see notes)
1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 Small Can Crushed Tomatoes (approx. 14 – 15 oz.) – Plain or with Basil
1 Small Can Diced Tomatoes (approx 14 -15 oz.)
2 Tablespoons Red Wine (optional)
1 Tablespoon Organic Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil (About 8-10 Leaves)
Directions for The Devil’s Pasta Arrabiata:
Cook pasta according to package directions. (If using black bean pasta, be very careful not to overcook!)
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes and cook another minute, stirring so nothing burns.
Add tomatoes – carefully, they may splatter! Add Italian seasoning, wine, and brown sugar. Cover, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in fresh basil and remove from heat.
The question now – add the pasta to the sauce, or serve sauce over the pasta? If you’ve enough company to eat it all (approximately 4-6 servings), go ahead and add in the pasta. If not, serve the pasta, then ladle out the sauce. Leftover pasta in sauce tends to bloat and swell in the fridge overnight, and black bean more than most – turning from disturbing to disgusting.
Top with vegan parmesan, if desired – my favorite is Follow Your Heart Shredded Style.
Use 1/4 teaspoon if you want your sauce peeved; 1/2 teaspoon for angry; 1 teaspoon for enraged.
You don’t have to use arrabiata sauce to make spooky pasta. Any kind of red pasta sauce will work.
You don’t even to make your own sauce. I really like Trader Joe’s Arrabiata Sauce, even though it’s not traditional (has onions, isn’t very hot, and lacks basil). Still, it’s a very good sauce. You can always spark it up a bit with a few crushed red pepper flakes and a few fresh basil leaves.