Linguine + lemon butter + arrabbiata sauce = my favorite pasta in the whole world.
It might sound a little strange, but it’s my preferred way to eat pasta. The lemon butter makes the noodles all slippery (and probably a lot less healthy…arteries, be damned!), and the arrabbiata adds a nice, spicy kick.
Linguine alla Reckless
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium-sized white onion, chopped finely
3 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup red wine (I used a Cabernet-Shiraz blend, substitute with what you’ve got)
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1/3 oz fresh basil, chopped (or 1/2 of a package, if you get the pre-packed “fresh” herbs at the grocery)
2 cans peeled, diced tomatoes
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 stick butter
3 tbsp lemon juice
linguine noodles (I used about half of a standard box, I’ll check the number of oz later)
I like to get all of the chopping out of the way at the beginning. Chop the onion into tiny tiny bits, and do the same with the basil.
Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a large saucepan, coating the bottom. Dump the chopped onion bits into the pan, and turn the burner to high. Cook for about three minutes, to the point where you can smell the onions cooking from another room. Add in the minced garlic. Open up the cans of diced tomatoes and the tomato paste, and add to the sauce pot. Pour in the red wine, and stir with a wooden spoon until the contents of the pan are well-blended.
Add in the red pepper, black pepper, Italian seasoning, fresh basil, and sugar, and stir. Cover the pan, and reduce heat to medium-low.
While the sauce is hanging out on a back burner, fill a pot with water, a shake of salt, and a short glug of oil, and start it boiling. Grab some linguine (I generally like to take as many noodles as will comfortably fit inside the circle made between my thumb and index finger, and count that as one serving. If you’re cooking for two people, you’ll most likely use at least half a box) and place it in the boiling water. Cook until just past al dente – you don’t want to overcook them, but you also aren’t going for too much crunch with these noodles.
Place the stick of butter in a small saucepan, and turn the burner to low. The butter will melt fairly quickly. Add lemon juice a tablespoon at a time. Three worked perfectly for me, but you may want more or less, depending on how you prefer your lemon butter.
Drain the water from the pasta. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl. Gently pour the lemon butter over the noodles – you’ll have plenty left over, so don’t pour any more than is needed to gently coat the pasta. Lightly toss the noodles in the lemon butter, then spoon into serving plates or pasta bowls.
Top the linguine with the spicy tomato sauce. You won’t need too much – again, there will be plenty of sauce left over. Garnish with fresh basil, and enjoy!
The arrabbiata sauce freezes very well, and you’ll have more than enough for several dinners/lunches. It’s also great on chicken, on other types of pasta (with or without lemon butter), or spooned over garlic bread.
Warning: you may find that this arrabbiata sauce is a little bit hot; I’m a huge fan of crushed red pepper. If your tastebuds are a little bit more sensitive, you can cut back on the crushed red, and I won’t judge you.