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Playing HAH (Hot as Hell) Cherry Tomato Sauce all’Arrabiata


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 to 4 fresh Fresno chilies or jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced across (add seeds for extra-hot)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter or additional olive oil
  • A small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Serves: 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat, 4 turns of the pan. Add chilies and garlic, and stir 2-3 minutes. Deglaze pan with vermouth or wine and add tomatoes. Cover pan tightly and cook 15 minutes until tomatoes burst, shaking pan occasionally. Break up any stragglers that have not burst with a potato masher or wooden spoon and season sauce with sea salt to your taste.

Season pasta water with salt and cook pasta to al dente. Reserve a cup of starchy water and drain pasta, returning it to hot pot with butter or oil, starchy water and half the tomato sauce. Toss the spaghetti with a little Pecorino cheese. (Tossing it with starchy liquids, butter or oil, sauce and cheese will emulsify the ingredients and evenly coat the spaghetti.) Swirl pasta into dishes and top with more sauce.