Pasta Arrabiata is a classic! It's healthy, easy to make, and the fiery tomato sauce will please all the spice lovers out there.
Pasta Arrabiata literally means "angry pasta" in Italian. Arrabiata sauce (sugo all'arrabbiata) is a spicy (angry) tomato sauce that's made with plenty of olive oil, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and red pepper flakes to provide the heat.
We all know I'm not the biggest spice fan on the planet, but I did really enjoy this recipe. It was a bit too hot for me, but I still ate it haha. If you want to try it but are worried about the spice level, I'd recommend halving the amount of red pepper flakes. It'll still have some kick.
How to make Pasta Arrabiata (summary):
Start by heating the oil in a medium-sized pot, then adding the garlic and sautéing it for about a minute (careful it doesn't burn). Add in the red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and sugar (if using). Simmer for 15 minutes and then toss with cooked penne. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
This is a very straightforward recipe. You basically simmer the sauce and that's it. 🙂
What kind of tomatoes to use in Pasta Arrabiata?
I used Mutti brand finely chopped tomatoes (2 x 13.5 fluid ounce cans) to make the simple Arrabiata sauce. Regular diced tomatoes are too big and watery, so I would avoid those. If you can't find finely chopped tomatoes, your best bet is crushed tomatoes in my opinion. I've even seen some recipes use a combo of diced tomatoes and tomato paste, so that's always an option. To reduce the sauce, you may need to cook it longer if you find the tomatoes are watery. The texture of my sauce is like a marinara - not too thick or thin.
What kind of pasta to use in Pasta Arrabiata?
I suggest penne, but any shape will work in a pinch. The little tubes are perfect for clinging onto that yummy sauce.
More tasty pasta recipes to try:
- Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta
- Tomato Goat Cheese Pasta
- Super Easy Creamy Tomato Pasta
- Tomato Spinach Shrimp Pasta
- Easy Pasta Puttanesca
Have you ever made Penne Arrabiata at home? Is it something you'd order in a restaurant? Let me know if you have any questions about this recipe in the comments below.
Easy Pasta Arrabiata
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 (13.5 fluid ounce) cans finely chopped tomatoes with juices (see note)
- 1 teaspoon (packed) brown sugar optional
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces uncooked penne
- Add the oil to a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and let it cook for a minute or so (watch it closely and don't let it brown).
- Stir in the red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and sugar (if using, see note). Reduce the heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, boil a large, salted pot of water for your pasta. Cook it al dente according to package directions.
- Season the sauce with salt & pepper as needed. I added a fair bit of salt.
- Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce (you can add a little pasta water too if you wish). Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- This recipe only contains a few ingredients, so make sure you're buying good quality tomatoes and olive oil for it. I used Mutti brand finely chopped tomatoes and Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Please see the explanation in my post on what kind of tomatoes to use if you can't find the exact brand I used - it can make or break the recipe.
- Wondering why there's sugar in here? It takes the acidic edge off the tomatoes and gives this recipe more of a restaurant-quality taste. You can omit it if you prefer.
- You can add some fresh chopped/torn basil a few minutes prior to serving if you wish.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.