INSALATA DI PASTA ARRABIATA – Summer Pasta with an Uncooked Spicy Tomato Sauce

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This great summer pasta dish is a room temperature version of pasta arrabbiata (angry pasta). It derives its name from being made angry by the addition of red hot chili peppers. The chef is allowed the liberty of adding as much as he or she wishes. It is important to use firm, dry, fresh tomatoes that are not too watery.

  • 1/2 C. basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped off and chopped
  • 1/4 C. mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 C. extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 –8 large ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 tsp. hot red peppers flakes, or 1 small fresh chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 C. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 lb. penne pasta


Combine the basil, rosemary, mint, oregano, garlic, and capers in a small bowl. Pour on enough olive oil to cover generously. Combine the tomatoes, hot pepper, and cheese in a large serving bowl.

Cook the penne in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, shaking the colander to cool it a bit and transfer it to the serving bowl, mixing it with the tomato mixture. Add the herb mixture and toss again. Let stand for up to 4 hours. Taste before serving and add additional salt and olive oil, if necessary, to taste.

Serve at room temperature.