Chunky Arrabbiata Sauce

OMG! You will love this one! My husband, who is the true cook in the family, gave it high praise and that's my true test for a stellar recipe. Chucks of bell peppers, toasted red chili flakes, and a finish of balsamic and black garlic vinegar pulls this whole sauce together. You'll want to drink it.



  • 1 yellow onion, chopped small
  • 3 garlic cloves, mashed and then minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red chili flakes(more or less for your palate)
  • 2 20-oz cans of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar with black garlic infusion*
  • Salt and pepper to taste


To a large hot pot (like a Dutch oven), add the onions and continually stir. They will soon begin to sweat, making it easier for them to move around the pot. Keep a small bowl of water or vegetable broth to the side to deglaze when you start to see some browning on the bottom of the pot. As the onions cook, they may begin to stick a little as they give up all of their moisture. By simply adding a tablespoon of liquid to the pot, you can grab all the browning (called fond, the caramelized yumminess on the pan) and pull it up and fold it back into the onions - this adds a great layer of flavor! This whole process should take about 4-5 minutes. This is called a dry saute.**

When your onions are golden brown, you can do one of two things: move on to adding the garlic, or caramelize your onions further. If you choose the ladder, now, add a pinch of salt to the onions and they will again give up more moisture. The salt forces more water out and further condensing the sugars in the onions, giving us that caramelization that is so luscious!

Ok, now add that garlic and keep it moving around for about 45-60 seconds. Don't let it burn! Once you begin to smell it, it's time to add the bell peppers. Allow those to cook for 3-4 minutes. Still adding a little liquid if you need to.

Next, scoot everything to one side and add the red pepper flakes and allow them to toast for just a minute.

Mix all the ingredients well and one by one, grab the tomatoes from the can and gently squeeze them and drop into the pot. Add the liquid from the cans as well. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Pull up the heat up so the sauce boils slightly and then down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and splash in your balsamic. Stir and serve!

* By pureeing 3 gloves of black garlic and then add to 1/4 cut of balsamic vinegar and mixing well, you'll have a simple black garlic balsamic. Feel free to play around with this ratio. This is an excellent article on how to make black garlic. It requires time, but not skill. :) Or, if you can find a brand of balsamic that has dome this for you - even better! That's what I did! I purchased from Tucan Holistic.

If you don't have black garlic balsamic or choose not to make the infusion, simply adding balsamic vinegar is fine.

**Most time I choose to do a dry saute because oil adds a buffer between our taste buds and the food we are eating if they are coated in oil. After all, we add oil to a pan mainly to create that buffer so that food does not stick! Remember that that buffer is transferred to our mouth as well and we don;t get the true flavors. Removing the oil removes the buffer and the flavors pop!

If you do choose to use oil, please know that each tablespoon of oil (no matter what kind of oil), delivers 125 calories, 15g of pure fat, 100& fat and zero fiber. Please use cautiously.


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