Posted on July 22, 2015 by Cooking for Students
Carbs keep college students going, especially pasta. It tastes so good and when made correctly, pasta can be quite nutritious. One dish that is phenomenal, inexpensive and easy is penne arrabiata. It is a spicy pasta with a lot of bold flavor. Penne arrabiata is perfect for anyone craving a restaurant quality dish. You may even want to make this if you have a nice date planned with a special guy/girl on campus.
What’s in it?
- 1 ¼ cup dried penne pasta
- 1 can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1-1 ½ dried chili or red chili flakes to taste
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Fresh basil, optional
- Canned parmesan or parmesan Romano cheese
How’s it made?
- Add the oil to a medium saucepan and heat over medium. Add the chopped onion into the pan and cook while stirring until softened.
- Place the chopped red chili or chili flakes into the pan and cook until fragrant. Stir to prevent burning.
- Pour the diced tomatoes into the saucepan. Add a generous pinch of garlic powder and a pinch of sugar.
- Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Stir and set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt the water.
- Add penne to the boiling water and cook according to the packaging instructions.
- Drain and pour the sauce over the pasta. Toss to coat with sauce.
- Plate, garnish with torn basil and finish with parmesan cheese.
The final product tastes great and is reminiscent of something you would get at a nice Italian restaurant. The pasta is spicy, the flavors are spot on and the addition of fresh basil (if you have it) takes the college out of this college recipe. Adding that element of freshness elevates the plate. Basil is a really inexpensive herb that can be purchased anywhere. As for the rest of the recipe, it is very versatile. If you do not have dried chili or chili flakes on hand, chili powder will provide that signature spice. You can also adjust the heat level to your liking, replace the garlic powder with fresh garlic or add fresh tomatoes to the sauce if desired. This is a recipe that really works for students because there are so many ingredient substitutions.