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Penne with Cherry Tomato Arrabbiata


  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1-2 fresh Fresno chili peppers, thinly sliced across or chopped (add seeds for extra-hot)

  • 3 large cloves garlic, grated or minced

  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • 1 pound penne

  • A small handful of fresh basil, torn

  • A small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, four turns of the pan. Add the chili peppers and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the vermouth or wine and add the tomatoes. Cover the pan tightly and cook for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes burst, shaking the pan occasionally. Break up any stragglers that have not burst with a potato masher or wooden spoon and season the sauce with sea salt, to taste.

Season the pasta water with salt and cook the pasta to al dente. Reserve a cup of the starchy cooking water and drain the pasta, returning it to the hot pot with the starchy cooking water and half the tomato sauce. Toss the penne with a little basil, parsley and Pecorino cheese. Spoon the penne into dishes and top with more sauce.