The first thing I didn’t expect to see on the streets in Accra, Ghana were boiling vats of water for pasta. There was pasta around us, mostly spaghetti that locals were selling on the streets. I couldn’t help but feel super curious by all of it, especially when nearly every hotel menu offered pasta in some form. Ghana’s food scene is fulfilled by spice. If you want to feast like a true Ghanaian, you will have to bring on the heat!
While digging through my memories and brainstorming recipe ideas I remembered seeing Pasta Arrabiata on some menu somewhere! And I thought it would be clever to bridge two worlds into one. A Lazio, Italy region classic could not be more perfect for a Ghanaian palate. It’s the spice baby!
My sauce will kick you in the booty and make you feel warm and fuzzy all at the same time. It’s rich with lots of fat from olive oil and slabs of butter that cooked slowly into the sauce as it roasted in the oven. It’s thick and viscous, not quite how a tomato sauce should be, but what I think is the perfect consistency for richness and cozy fall weather. Cheese is not common in a Ghanaian diet, but there is no darn way I couldn’t include it here. So with further research, I found that farmer's cheese is quintessential in Ghana if and when there is any cheese to be had or used at all. It’s like a mascarpone ricotta combo, creamy but crumbly and perfect for the top of a baked pasta. And I love the addition of breadcrumb for a little buttery crunch factor.