Gemelli with Cheese and Quick Arrabbiata Sauce

When I have four cooking magazines on my desk with at least twenty dogeared pages, it seems silly to open the recipe box and make a dish for a second or third time. The dishes I make on a regular basis lend themselves to improvisation: pizza, stir fry, soup. This Arrabbiata Sauce is one exception to the rule. The reason I make it over and over is because it tastes good, I have most of the ingredients in my cabinet, and, as the name suggests, it’s quick. Oh yeah, and it tastes one hundred percent better than the stuff in a jar (even the top shelf stuff).

The first time I made this recipe, I lived in a studio apartment behind the L tracks in Chicago. Glenn was making the long, wintry trek from school to my apartment and I was determined to have a hot meal waiting for him when he arrived. I didn’t realize that it would take me half the time to make this pasta as it would for him to travel from Ukrainian Village to Edgewater. I also didn’t realize that you could cover and simmer pasta sauce almost indefinitely. So we didn’t sit down to the hot meal that I planned, but it was tasty enough to try again. And again. And again.

I was a little worried that the dish would have lost its charm after so many years and so many fancier recipes. Not at all. And, as you can see, this dish was served piping hot. It fogged up my lens so much that I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the ghost waiting for his dinner.

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