Penne Arrabbiata with Charred Sweet Tomatoes | Wine Enthusiast
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Penne Arrabbiata with Charred Sweet Tomatoes

Courtesy Nancy Silverton, chef and co-owner, Mozza Restaurant Group

June marks the third-annual EAT (RED) SAVE LIVES, a month-long campaign from famed U2 frontman Bono and Bobby Shriver’s (RED) initiative. The event brings together chefs, restaurants and bars to raise money and awareness for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.

Nancy Silverton is a legendary chef, baker and cookbook author, but she’s also an active supporter of numerous charities and one of the chefs at The (RED) Supper kickoff event in New York City. This recipe takes advantage of the first tiny tomatoes of summer.


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1½ teaspoons red pepper flakes, plus more if desired
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
Kosher salt and sugar, to taste
28 tiny tomatoes, halved (can substitute 14 cherry tomatoes, quartered)
6 large garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
8 ounces penne rigate
¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
¼ cup freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish


To make arrabbiata sauce base, heat ¼ cup olive oil in saucepan over low heat. Add red pepper flakes, and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer 10 minutes. Salt to taste, and set aside. (Can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated).

Preheat oven broiler. Toss tiny tomatoes in a medium bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of sugar. Place tomatoes on a sheet pan in a single layer. Broil for about 5 minutes, or until tomatoes char in places.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 90 seconds, stirring so garlic doesn’t brown. Reduce heat to low. Add 1 cup reserved arrabbiata sauce. Cook just until warmed through.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add penne, and cook until al ­dente, stirring occasionally. Drain ­pasta. Transfer quickly (while still ­dripping) to skillet. Coat pasta with sauce. Add salt and/or red pepper flakes, if ­necessary.

Pile pasta onto 4 plates. Spoon charred tomatoes over pasta. Garnish with parsley and cheese. Serves 4.

Pair It

“I love drinking Rosso di Montalcino with tomato sauces,” says Sarah Clarke, beverage director of Mozza Restaurant Group. “Podere Le Ripi Rosso di Montalcino 2009 is a little fuller style, with a hint of French barrique, which is a nice pairing with the charred tomatoes.”

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