Sometimes it’s difficult to make choices. Especially when your choice involves two good options. Forget about endless wondering and doubting and simply mix the best of both. The recipe for this “Arrabiciana” is most likely breaking too many rules in the art of Italian cooking to ever make it into any cookbook, but that doesn’t make it any less tasty.

Spiciness of chili peppers (All’Arrabiata) and saltiness of bacon (All’Amatriciana) combine pretty nicely. But the real secret to this dish is cheese. Leftovers of several varieties, by preference. Parmezan, cream cheese, goat cheese, chester … this recipe is the perfect clean-up for your fridge.

Sauce “All’Arrabiciana”: 200g smoked bacon, 1 small can of tomato concentrate, 40g butter, 30g flower, 300ml milk, chili peppers (fresh or dried), any kind of cheese leftover.

Fry the bacon in some butter.

Melt the remaining portion of butter (about 30g) and use the flower to make a roux. Add milk gradually while stirring until you get a liquid structure. Make it a bit more liquid than you would like the sauce to be, because it will get thicker again when adding the cheese later on.

Add the tomato concentrate. If you are a big fan of tomatoes (as I am) you can add another small can of tomato concentrate, or alternatively add some tomato salsa or ketchup. Be careful with the latter though, as ketchup can easily make your sauce too sweet.

Add pieces of cheese one by one and keep stirring until all is melted. Season with chili peppers to your liking and some Mediterranean herb mix if you wish. Normally salt won’t be necessary, the bacon will add enough saltiness to the dish.

Add the bacon and leave to simmer a few more minutes. Add more milk (alternatively water) if the cheese has made the texture of the sauce too thick.

Serve with any kind of pasta.

Bon appétit!


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