‘Angry’ Sauce with Summer Vegetables


There are three pieces to the story behind this recipe:

1.  Five (5!!!  How does time go by so fast!?!) years ago, one of my best friends {Natalie} and I took a cooking class in Orvieto, Italy; a small walled-city in Umbria.  I am sure I have mentioned it at least 100 times before because it was one of the best things I have ever done, for so many reasons.  Natalie and I referred to the trip as “life-changing”, when we got home and tried to describe it to our friends.  We spent our days in Orvieto cooking, eating, shopping (for food and clothes : )), taking pictures, and laughing A LOT with the American culinary students whom at the time, were also working in the restaurant where our class was based.  I always think of the whole thing as a very sensory experience because it was all “smell this…”, “touch this…”, “taste this…”, and the food we made was so simple, yet beautiful {Meats Grilled with Fresh Herbs, Homemade Bread & Pasta, Salads with Crispy Greens and Milky Cheeses, Roasted Vegetables, and Wine-y Sauces – YUM!}.  One of my favorite meals was a handmade “Umbrichelli” (~ A long, rustic, tubular pasta made with flour, water, salt, and olive oil, and rolled by hand.) with Arrabbiata {Angry} Sauce.  The Arrabbiata was unlike any I had ever had before because we used fresh – not canned – tomatoes and white wine as ingredients.

2.  My family and I go to a restaurant near the beach, where they serve chopped zucchini mixed with Marinara Sauce and herbs, during the summer.  I had forgotten about it until it came out on a plate next to the lobster tail I ordered, last week : )  I actually liked that better than the lobster, and vowed to make it at home.

3.  Growing up, Sunday dinners meant 1 of 2 things:  Going over to my Grandma’s house for roasted chicken, or staying in while my Dad made his world-famous (“Famous” in our world, at least!) sauce.  Even now, I equate Sundays with those meals, and decided that today, we’re going to opt for the sauce!

This then, is a combination of all of the above.  It’s the Arrabbiata from Zeppelin {The name of the restaurant.}, with a couple of slight adaptations.  I have a printed recipe book from the class, which I would have photographed directly for you, however, the pages are tattered and the recipe itself is pretty rudimentary.  It has directions like: “Stir for a while” and “Add some water”.  ♥ That.  I mixed the sauce with green beans here (My favorite!), and because I like it a little soupy (It’s perfect for dipping bread in, that way.), I cooked it down less than I would if I had used a summer squash instead, given the water content.  It’s also delicious on top of pasta of course, but if you try it, I think you might find that vegetables are the way to go : )




'Angry Sauce' with Summer Vegetables
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 6
  • For the Sauce:
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
  • For the Beans:
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and blanched
  1. For the Sauce:
  2. In a large saucepan, set over low heat, gently sweat the garlic for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant but not browned.
  3. Add the pepper flakes, tomatoes, and wine to the pan with salt & pepper. Raise the heat to medium, and continue to cook and stir occasionally, for approximately 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick you want the sauce.
  4. Add the fresh oregano to the pan, with the green beans (or vegetable of your choice). Toss and serve!
I love this spicy sauce paired with green beans, but it is equally as good with summer squash and snap peas! Try it!




Have you guys tried Averna?  Averna is an Italian liqueur produced in Sicily, distilled from a {Secret!} blend of dried fruits, herbs, flowers, spices and licorice, finished with caramel.  It’s historically served as an aperitif or digestif, on its own or with a chunk of ice (I like it with just a teeny-tiny splash of club soda.), but has also proven to be a fun mixer.  It was perfection served here before a big green salad, these spicy beans, and a loaf of crusty bread.  Once the weather cools down, and I need a little warming up, I am going to try adding a bit to a Bourbon Manhattan.  Sounds good, right?


6 Responses to ‘Angry’ Sauce with Summer Vegetables

  1. Natalie DiFusco-Funk says:

    I made the blog again!!!! I feel like our life changing trip could provide inspiration for every entry! Love you friend and love our angry sauce! Maybe Nutella gelato next?

  2. huntfortheverybest says:

    looks like the perfect way to eat green beans!

  3. Cecile says:

    I’m so jealous that you took that cooking class in a town in Umbria – how awesome. And the ‘angry’ sauce looks awesome as well !!

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