Both my wife and my father in law have absolutely no concept of what is “too much” from a spicy perspective. I like some spicy foods myself, but will never opt for the suicide wings. Wifey on the other hand, well, let’s say she was down for a wasabi eating contest. And won.
So with my last ratatouille arrangement, I felt as though I had to up the ante a little bit as they were the primary consumers of the food (my mother in law only nibbles, and the boys aren’t quite feeling ratatouille yet, even thought they both loved the movie). So what I decided to create was a spicy little sauce on top.
Very simple sauce to make, using Don Pepino’s canned spaghetti sauce as a base. The ingredients are:
- 1 can (28 oz.) Don Pepino Spaghetti Sauce
- half of an onion (my preference is white or sweet, but will work with virtually any onion type)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 habañero peppers
- 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
The preparation is pretty straightforward as everything is simply combined into a saucepan.
- Chop up the onion into fairly small pieces.
- Using the smallest cut setting of the mandolin (from the ratatouille), shear the garlic into small discs.
- Using the same mandolin, shear the habañeros similarly (you might want to wear gloves for this part, as the oil has a bad habit of getting under my fingernails).
- In a medium saucepan over medium, combine the garlic, onion, habañeros, and olive oil. Mix over medium heat until the onions begin to reduce and the garlic starts to brown. You may want to have small children and people who are not fans of habañeros exit the kitchen during this time, as the chilis cooking down definitely hit you in the eyes and throat.
- Add the sauce and pepper flakes and stir.
- Reduce heat to simmer and cover for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
You can adjust the heat as needed. Personally, 3 habañeros are the most I can handle in the sauce (semi) comfortably. With the 4th, it’s out of bounds for me.