Firstly, I apologise for this 4.5 month hiatus. I’ve been on a couple of restricted diets and generally just not been hit with any culinary inspiration lately….or if I had, I just never got around to writing it down.
This recipe is hardly the most grandiose comeback, in fact, some might question my sanity for even calling this a ‘recipe’, but in the final pre-payday struggle after a fortnight of indulgence that’s probably completely undone all the dietary restraint of the previous 2-3 months, I was quite pleased with this hastily-cobbled-together lunch (or supper) and felt the need to share.
It takes inspiration from several sources – Mama June from Honey Boo Boo (yes, really); the early-2010s craze for sriracha, Anna Del Conte, Jack Monroe….ah what the hell. This is a council-house take on penne all’arrabbiata that shouldn’t work. But it does. It’s essentially pasta with some sriracha sauce and ketchup, but with some respect kept towards Italian cooking methods (less is more with the sauce, use of the mantecatura) and not drowning in downmarket condiments. In fact I only added ketchup to balance out the garlic-soused pungency of the sriracha. I know cooking with ketchup is considered disreputable, and not the thing, but I’m not prepared to justify myself here.
Can be made with any pasta shape you have on hand – spaghetti would work very well too as it’s a light dressing as opposed to swimming in sauce. And adjust the quantities of sauces if you like more or less heat, or a sweeter taste.
Pasta alla sriracha
125g penne or spaghetti – indeed whatever shape is in your cupboard.
Small knob butter
1 tbsp ketchup
1-1 1/4 tsp sriracha sauce (to taste)
- Set a pan of water on to boil, salt, and then cook pasta according to package instructions. When pasta is at least al dente, remove from heat (but don’t turn off) and drain, hiving off a small cupful of the starchy water as you do so before returning pasta to the pan.
- Reduce heat to very low and add the butter, ketchup and sriracha, and stir to combine and coat the pasta evenly, adding some of the reserved cooking water as you do so. You want lightly, yet well-coated pasta. Think dressed salad, there should be barely any excess sauce.
- Serve immediately, top with grated parmesan, black pepper and, if desired, drizzled with more sriracha.