Sambal is becoming more common, a spicy Malaysian chile paste that is widely used for a lot of Asian cuisine. You can find it in the Asian food aisle of any well-stocked grocery store. A generally straightforward mix of chiles, salt and vinegar (some have garlic and/or sugar), sambal can best be described as an Asian harrissa. It’s different from Sriracha in that it is nice and chunky with lots of seeds and bits of chile. It makes for a great shortcut to Arrabbiata and here’s the simple way to do it.
Read more about spicy pasta in Dave Mau's article here.
1 1-pound box of Penne pasta
2 tbsp. Sambal Oelek
10 oz. of your favorite pasta sauce
Grated Parmesan, Pecorino Romano or Asiago cheese.
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Boil Penne in water with salt and olive oil until al dente.
Drain and return to pot, toss with Sambal, then pasta sauce.
Top with your favorite cheese and enjoy!