I do some of my best thinking in the shower. One of the tastiest dishes I ever had popped into my mind this morning as the water ran over my head: Linguine Arrabiata. A steaming bowl of fresh-cooked linguine with hot chili peppers, really good extra-virgin olive oil and fresh basil. I had this in New York a few months back, and it stuck in my mind.
The beauty of this dish is its simplicity. The chef's addition of fine-grated lemon peel is brilliant. The acidity marries beautifully with the sharp pepper heat.
Traditionally, arrabiata sauce is made spicy with dried red chile flakes; however, for a change, I sometimes use a minced fresh serrano or jalapeno. I use the seeds and all. If you want a milder version, leave the seeds out.
I favor angel hair or linguine for this recipe. But you can use penne pasta or another short pasta shape for this dish.
—By Chef Steve Petusevsky