Penne Arrabiata with Chicken!

Arrabiata literally means "angy" in Italian. So why do we crave this angry dish? Because it's spicy, not furious! I'll have to remember this double meaning the next time my boys call me out for being "angry". I'll simply say, "I'm not angry, I'm spicy"! 

Anyway, back to the food - this simple dish adds a lot of excitement to your weekly menu. For a spicier version, add more crushed red pepper flakes, and for a milder meal, simply add less. And remember to be spicy... it's much for fun that way!

8 ounces penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white wine or vermouth
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon sundried tomato paste
2 tablespoons shredded pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

Cook the penne according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, oregano and salt and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer 2 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes and sundried tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low, partially cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens.

Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Transfer the pasta and chicken to a serving dish and top with grated cheese.

Serves 4

Photo Credit: Serge Bertasius