So, when we were in NYC last time, before our trip was wrecked by a sick dog and an early departure, we ate Italian food at Margheritas in Hoboken with our friends from Greenville. It was one of the best meals we’ve had in NYC in recent years, and I couldn’t get the arrabiata that I had out of my head.
It was a really fresh tasting tomato sauce, spicy but just really tomato-y, not bogged down with lots of other flavors at all. What I loved about it most, though, was that there were hot and mild peppers in it, and some of them were pickled.
Pickled anything is just the best ever, you know?
This is my version! Spicy, sweet, tangy, and SIMPLE. It’s definitely a new favorite around here, and I’m already planning how I can recreate a summer version with just fresh tomatoes when ours get ripe. How great would that be?
For this version, though, you need onion, garlic, a green pepper, pickled cherry peppers, crushed red pepper, whole canned tomatoes, and sugar. Olive oil and salt too, duh.
Chop the veggies first. Dice the onion.
Then cut the bell pepper into slightly larger bite-sized pieces.
Mince the garlic and slice the cherry peppers.
Then, in a skillet, add the onion and peppers with some olive oil over medium-high heat.
Let the peppers and onions cook for about 5 minutes, stirring as you go, just until they soften a little bit. Then add the cherry peppers, garlic, crushed red pepper, and a little bit of salt.
After 2 more minutes or so, add the tomatoes and their juices! Crush them lightly in your hand, then sprinkle in the sugar and a spoonful of the liquid from the pickled peppers jar.
That’s really it.
Turn the heat down on the sauce and let it simmer for 10-20 minutes until it’s slightly thickened, taste it a few times and add more salt, sugar, or crushed red pepper until it tastes perfect to you. Don’t hold back on the salt, we want it to taste GOOD. Salt brings out all the other flavors.
You can serve this however you like, but regular spaghetti is my preference at the moment. What I love about this is that you can make a double batch then keep the sauce in the fridge all week for whenever you need a quick + delicious dinner.
Monday dinner plan, done. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 hot and sweet pickled cherry peppers, sliced, plus 1 tablespoon brine from the jar
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- salt, to taste
- 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- pasta and parmesan for serving
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onion, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until the veggies have started to soften. Add the garlic, cherry peppers, crushed red pepper, and a sprinkle of salt. Stir the veggie mixture for 2 more minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes and their juices, crushing them lightly with your hand. Add the sugar and the juice from the pickled pepper jar. When the sauce bubbles, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes until the veggies are cooked and the sauce has thickened.
- Taste the sauce and add more salt, sugar, or crushed red pepper until it is very flavorful. Serve with pasta and parmesan. Enjoy!