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This easy Pasta Arrabiata is a traditional Italian pasta dish made of crushed tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. 

Easy Pasta Arrabiata

Pasta Arrabiata is a classic! It's healthy, easy to make, and the fiery tomato sauce will please all the spice lovers out there.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Easy Pasta Arrabiata Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 344kcal


  • 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.


Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 505mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 372IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3mg