Testa Barra is an upbeat restaurant from co-chefs Mike Baldwin and Gabriella Rodriguez-Baldwin. The menu is inspired by a spin on modern Northern Italian cuisine. Testa Barra's mixology team works to keep evolving its beverage program using high-quality ingredients and refined spirits to craft contemporary cocktails.
Chefs Mike and Gabriella pride themselves on always using the freshest ingredients. When weather permits, many of the herbs used in the kitchen are grown in the restaurant's own garden.
They demonstrated how they make Arrabbiata sauce, or sugo all'arrabbiata in Italian. It is a spicy sauce for pasta made from garlic, tomatoes, and dried red chili peppers cooked in olive oil. The sauce originates from the Lazio region, around Rome.
Recipe by Testa Barra Kitchen & Cocktails
Cook Time: About 1 hour
Serves: 6-8 people
3 Tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 small yellow or red onion, finely diced
6 large cloves garlic, minced
28 oz whole canned tomatoes
½ c fresh basil leaves
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
Heat butter or olive oil in a large saucepan (or deep sauté pan) over medium-high heat until melted. Add crushed red pepper flakes and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until softened and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add in the tomatoes and stir to combine. Continue cooking the sauce, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon (or potato masher) as you go, until the sauce reaches a low simmer. Reduce heat to medium to maintain a steady simmer. Then let the sauce continue to cook uncovered for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened** and reached your desired consistency.
Stir in the basil, salt and pepper. Season sauce with S & P to taste.