the appetizer:

Gifts Cooks Love: Recipes for Giving by Diane Morgan and Sur La Table includes recipes like Arrabbiata Sauce; Moroccan Spice Blend; and Biscotti Christmas Tree.



Arrabbiata Sauce

Makes six (1-pint/1/2 liter) jars of arrabbiata sauce
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Processing time: 40 minutes

Arrabbiata Sauce


Arrabbiata means "angry" in Italian and refers to the chile-infused piquancy of this sauce. It is a dynamite way to use fresh-from-the-farmers'-market (or garden-picked) plum or Roma tomatoes. Buy yourself some disposable surgical gloves at the pharmacy and wear them when working with chiles. They will keep the caustic compound (capsaicin) that is naturally present in chiles from irritating your skin.



  • 8 pounds fresh, ripe Roma, plum, or San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely diced (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup minced serrano chiles, including seeds and ribs
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons citric acid, such as Fruit-Fresh


Stockpot, Large Bowl, Paring Knife, Cutting Board, Slotted Spoon, Chef's Knife, Measuring Cups and Spoons, Silicone Spatula, Can Opener, Six (1-Pint/1/2-Liter) Glass Canning Jars, Water Bath Canner, Wide-Mouth Funnel, Ladle, Wooden Chopstick or Skewer, Canning Jar Lifter, Kitchen Towel, Sturdy Rimmed Baking Sheet

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have ready a large bowl filled with ice water. Meanwhile, using a paring knife, score the pointed end of each tomato with a small "x." Working in batches, place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds and then, using a slotted spoon, transfer them to the ice water to cool for 1 minute. Use a paring knife to peel back the skins and remove the cores. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

2. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the serrano chiles and garlic and saute 1 to 2 minutes longer. Do not let the chiles or garlic brown. Add the tomato paste and stir constantly for 1 minute.

4. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat so the sauce just simmers, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are no longer chunky and the sauce is thick, about 30 minutes.

5. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the preserving jars and bring water to a boil in a water bath canner. (See page 7 of the book.)

6. Remove the sauce from the heat. Using a wide-mouth funnel and filling one jar at a time, ladle the sauce into the hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles by running a long wooden utensil, such as a chopstick or wooden skewer, between the jar and the sauce. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to the manufacturer's directions. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 40 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Wait 5 minutes, and then lift the canning rack and, using a canning jar lifter, transfer the jars to a towel-lined, sturdy rimmed baking sheet and let them rest. Check the seals, wipe the jars, and label.

Recipe Card: Create a Card to Package with Gift
  • Penne with Arrabbiata Sauce and Bocconcini
  • Drain 1 cup bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls) and set aside. Heat the sauce in a medium sauté pan. Meanwhile, cook 8 ounces of penne according to package directions. Drain, but do not rinse the pasta. Toss the pasta with the sauce and the bocconcini. Heat through. Divide among heated pasta bowls and shower the pasta with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serves 2 to 3.

Storing: Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Gift-Giving Tips: Tie each jar with raffia or ribbon and attach a recipe card. To turn this into a gift basket, consider including a package of dried artisanal penne pasta and a hunk of Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese. To make the gift a bit more elaborate, see page 170 of the book for a gift kit idea.

  • from:
    Gifts Cooks Love
  • Recipes for Giving
  • by Diane Morgan and Sur La Table
  • Andrews McMeel Publishing 2010
  • Hardcover; 192 pages; U.S.: $25.00 Canada: $29.99
  • ISBN-10: 0740793500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7407-9350-9
  • Reprinted by permission.

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This page created November 2010

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