The Chilli Diaries #3: tortiglioni al’arrabiata

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The third and final instalment of recipes that I made using my friend’s chillies from her very own chilli plant!

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After using four of the chillies for two types of curry dishes, I thought I’d do something different with my final chilli; a simple Italian classic, arrabiata. Whilst usually served with penne, I decided to use tortiglioni instead. This type of pasta has a thicker texture and wider holes, enabling it to gather more sauce-delicious!

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This (slightly altered) simple recipe from the BBC Food website uses very few ingredients and is really easy to make. The recipe states two red chillies but, given the strength of the chillies I was using, I thought it would be safer to stick with one…and I only had one left, anyway!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
•250g tortiglioni, penne or pasta of your choice
•6tbs olive oil
•2 crushed garlic cloves
•1-2 red chillies, de-seeded
•A handful of fresh basil, chopped
•1 can of chopped tomatoes
•Black pepper to season

METHOD
1) Boil the pasta, drain and set aside.
2) Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the chilli and garlic to the pan. After about a minute, add the basil leaves and gently wilt them in the flavoured oil.
3) Remove the garlic, basil and chilli from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped tomatoes to the frying pan.
4) Put the garlic, basil and chilli back in the pan with the tomatoes. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little.
5) Stir in the pasta and add black pepper to taste. Serve with a few shavings of vegetarian hard cheese (optional).

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By using the one chilli, it meant that the dish had a kick to it without overpowering the flavour. I’ve made three healthy meals from these five small chillies and a chilli plant is something that I’ll definitely be buying for myself. If I ever have a garden, that is!

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