THE INTRIGUING ARRABBIATA RECIPE
THE INTRIGUING ARRABBIATA
This recipe is from another food-tragic, a German chef called Josh. He doesn’t like to brag about himself, but this formula is awesome.
It starts with the right tomatoes: seasonal, ripe, sweet, with low acidity. I roast them slow with low heat until they literally burst out of their skin.
Next is the garlic: I love using garlic confit – where the garlic is gently cooked in olive oil to develop that intense flavour. If unsure, always add one more clove rather than less!
Then, of course, the chilli: Arrabbiata is Italian for “ANGRY”. Consequently, to do the name justice, there is no mild Arrabbiata! I love to use my own fermented fresh chilis or just hot fresh chilli, but chilli flakes work as well.
The 3 components now combined need to simmer for several hours to intensify and develop the right aromas. When the whole house is filled with angry chilli aroma, it’s time to add fresh basil and eat!
Arrabbiata is a simple recipe, but it builds on the intensity of the single ingredients, if you omit any one of them, you may as well say goodbye to pasta perfection.
We all know, we can not expect a gourmet meal if we leave half the ingredients of the shopping list – why do we expect it to be any other way when it comes to our health?
In this fast-line culture we live in, we want everything instantly. In my work, I see so many people looking for shortcuts to wellbeing by fully concentrating on one single ingredient. Often it is the Food. As a chef and diet coach, I am the first to tell you how important it is to nourish your body with the right nutrients. But that is by far not everything!
Just like the Arrabbiata needs more than tomatoes, so do we need more than a healthy diet for optimal functioning.
If the way to great Health was a supermarket, too many of us (I am including myself) sometimes get stuck in the tomato aisle. We spend the day thinking about the size, colour, ripeness of the fruit …. Without realizing that it is only one-third of the recipe.
In the next aisle is Movement; please hear this carefully: exercise is enormously important. The healthiest meal plan is not enough if we don’t move well. Off course, you cannot out-exercise a bad diet either! It’s very easy to be drawn into an intense training program that takes away more than it gives. Over-exhaustion is a bit like too much salt, you can’t take it back and from this point onwards, it’s very difficult to balance out the recipe.
In another aisle we find Relationships: You may think this doesn’t fit in with the food culture, but I am sure that the people we surround ourselves with are as important as the quality of food we put in our mouths every day. People who treat us as less than we are and put us down, have a real effect on our gut and body functions. It helps to make good choices.
The fourth aisle has our psychological wellbeing. Only when this aisle becomes covered with cobwebs, the supermarket owner realizes the importance of it. Make time for meditation, music, laughs and gratitude.
In aisle five we find sleep, rest and rehabilitation. We tend to rash through this isle too fast and inevitable this ends up in accidents and sickness.
Then, of course, there is an aisle called “Nature” and if we take time roaming through the supermarket, we find more aisles, like for Hydration… all of us will find our personal preferred supermarkets with aisles we particularly like.
The key is to find all ingredients to cook your own perfect recipe. Any ingredients on their own will not work, but if you don’t leave anything out, you will create your own culinary masterpiece!
One more lesson I am still learning from my Arrabbiata: It takes time to perfect it. Arrabbiata sauce doesn’t work in the pressure cooker; in Italy, it is not seldom that you see it cooking along all day.
Take your time; it may take a while to develop your own version. Be creative, take inspiration from others, but follow your own needs. Your Arrabbiata may have less garlic or more chilli than mine, and that’s all good.
Most importantly, we all sometimes burn the sauce! Don’t be too hard on yourself.
The journey to optimum health just as an exceptional Arrabbiata requires patience, resistance, and most of all a great sense of humour when it gets too hot!
Oh, and what every good chef will tell you, never leave out the main ingredient, LOVE.
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