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Spice things up with hot penne dish

Linda Gassenheimer
Tribune News Service

Penne Arrabbiata gets its inspiration from Rome. In Italian, arrabbiata means “angry,” a perfect name for this spicy, hot tomato sauce.

Crushed red pepper creates the heat. It can be found in the spice section of the supermarket. Beware: Rather than risk making the sauce too hot, place the crushed red pepper on the table for those who want more than the recipe recommends.

Penne are straight, short tubes of pasta that are cut on the diagonal. The pasta and sauce are topped with pecorino Romano cheese. Made from sheep’s milk, Pecorino Romano has a hard, yellow rind and a lighter color interior. It has a sharper flavor than parmesan. If difficult to find, use Parmesan cheese.


A quick way to chop basil is to wash, dry and snip the leaves right off the stem with a scissors.

Any short pasta such as macaroni can be used.

Any type of washed, ready-to-eat salad can be used.

Penne With Arrabbiata Sauce

1/2 pound penne pasta, (about 2 cups)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 medium onion, sliced (1 cup)

3 garlic cloves, crushed

6 ounces lean or low-fat ham, cut in 1-inch cubes (3 cups)

2 cups canned reduced-sodium diced tomatoes (including juice)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves


2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Place a large pot filled with water on to boil. Prepare sauce ingredients. When water boils, add pasta and cook 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute onions 3 minutes. Add garlic and ham and saute 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes with their juice and crushed red pepper. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and basil. Add salt to taste. Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Yields 2 servings.

Per serving: 559 calories (8 percent from fat), 5.4 g fat (2.1 g saturated, 1.9 g monounsaturated), 9 mg cholesterol, 20.8 g protein, 105.2 g carbohydrates, 9.6 g fiber, 200 mg sodium

Italian Salad

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 package washed, ready-to-eat Italian salad (4 cups)

Whisk lemon juice and olive oil together in a salad bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the salad and toss well.

Yields 2 servings.

Per serving: 60 calories (71 percent from fat), 4.8 g fat (0.7 g saturated, 2.2 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 1.2 g protein, 4.4 g carbohydrates, 1.4 g fiber, 13 mg sodium

Recipes by Linda Gassenheimer


— Linda Gassenheimer is an author of over 30 cookbooks. Her newest is “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Find her on Facebook (@FoodNewsandViews) and Twitter (@LGassenheimer), and listen to her podcasts at www.880thebiz.com.