How spicy is tradtional Arribiatta?

This is one of the least-known secrets of Italian cooking, at least for non-Italians.

Another, lesser-known secret is that you don’t want to use gallons of boiling water for pasta, especially if you’re going to use some of the water for helping to thicken/smooth out a sauce. Pasta will cook just as well if you fill a very large frying pan with water, toss the pasta in there while the water is cold (which keeps it from sticking), and then bring to a boil and cook as directed. This has the added benefit of concentrating the pasta starch in a smaller amount of water.

From personal experience, actual Italian food uses strong herbs and spices with a very light touch, preferring to let the flavors of the base ingredients dominate.

Yes, though I don’t use a pan, I always use a relatively small pot for cooking pasta, even for spaghetti. It’s by far not tall enough, but the spaghetti will be limp enough after 30 seconds so that you can squeeze them under water easily with a fork. Trick I got from watching my mother cook, like so many others.

ETA: one thing I learned from experience: if you cook pasta in a little pot, stir from time to time, every one or two minutes, or else it could get sticky.

Italian food, like Spanish does not tend to be spicy compared to more tropical cuisines like Indian or Mexican. But this is not reflected in some of the names which imply “spicy” in a way relative to standard foods.

Yeah, once I got used to European takes on Italian food (their Italian food tends to draw from the north, whereas American is from the south/Sicily) I became a bit sensitive to the heavy-handed manner “Italian Seasonings” are thrown into most commercial pasta sauces and other things to make them taste “Italian.” There are a few brands that don’t go this route, but both Ragu and Prego are over-spiced and over-sweet for my tastes.

Everything done on an industrial scale has much to much sugar (or corn syrup, or molasses, or any one of a multitude of equivalents), from ketchup onwards in any direction you go. Even mustard can have sugar!
Home made tomato :tomato: sauce is so easy to make and freezes perfectly, IMHO. With garlic and onions, I make it. :shushing_face:

And the Calabrian I worked for most definitely put garlic in his lasagne.

IMO, alfredo sauce with cream is good as a pizza sauce, or as a dip for breadsticks, but I don’t care for it on pasta.

This recipe looks almost exactly like the marinara sauce recipe in Henry Hill’s cookbook, which is what I use at home, though it’s got more chili flakes, and Hill calls for grating the onion.

I recently heard someone say something like: Most Europeans are most sensitive about being identified as the wrong nationality (for example, Scots being called English or Irish being called British), but Italians are most annoyed when you put the wrong topping or ingredients on their food.