Arrabbiata Sauce is a spicy Italian sauce made from tomatoes, garlic,parsley and spicy chilli flakes cooked in Olive oil. Arrabbiata actually means angry which is in association with the heat added by the chillies. Its is a very basic and simple recipe that pairs really well with pasta and can also be used as a dip or a spread for pizza, sandwiches and wraps.
Penne pasta tossed in Arrabbiata Sauce and a side of Cheesy Garlic Bread is a very common weekend dinner option in my home. Mainly because its not only exotic/restaurant like still quick but also since this combination is a family favorite. I found some really good quality red fresh Roma tomatoes this time and hence decided to share the recipe with you all.
Tomatoes are the base for this sauce so using good quality tomatoes is really important. If you cant find good fresh tomatoes using canned tomatoes will be the best bet. In which case go for whole peeled canned tomatoes rather than crushed or diced. Fresh parsley can be used but I have used dry parsley flakes instead. The amount of heat/spice can be adjusted to taste. Adding onions are optional but I like adding them as they add a bit of crunch and sweetness to this dish.
I prefer to chop the tomatoes instead of pureeing it and then mashing it with a spoon to get a paste like texture but with some small chunks of tomatoes in it. That's just the way I like it and you can puree it if you prefer a smoother sauce.
Now to the recipe...
For Arrabbiata Sauce :
¼ cup olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped (half cup)
2 garlic finely chopped
6 fresh tomatoes (approximately a pound) or use one 14 and ½ ounce can of whole,peeled tomatoes.
1 tsp dry parsley
For Penne Arrabbaiata : (Serves 2-3)
Arrabbiata Sauce (from above)
2 and ½ cups penne rigate pasta (or pasta of choice)
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Or Pecorino Romano or Parmesan)
In a pot/sauce pan bring some water to a boil and add the tomatoes to it. Cook till the tomatoes turn soft and the skin cracks/peels. Drain the water and allow the tomatoes to cool. Now remove the skin which should come off easily. Cut off the top (head) of the tomato and roughly chop them. They tend to ooze a lot of their juice. Keep the tomatoes along with their juice aside.
In a pan, heat the olive oil and to it add the onions and saute till slightly translucent. Then add the garlic and saute till raw garlic smell disappears. Now add the red chilli flakes and give it a good mix. To this now add the chopped tomatoes and their juice. Stir everything well. Cover and cook for about 5 mins on medium heat. When the tomatoes are slightly soft, add the salt and pepper and mix again. Cover and cook for another 10 mins stirring (medium low heat) after every 2-3 mins to prevent the mixture from sticking.
Keep mashing the tomatoes with the spoon to crush them into fine paste like texture. Then add the tomato paste. This is optional but I prefer to add it as it gives the sauce a good color and slight texture/thickness. a little goes a long way. Cover and cook for another 5 mins (medium low heat). When the sauce is almost done add the parsley flakes and Italian seasoning. Mix, mash and cover and cook for another 5 mins. If at any time you feel the mixture sticking to the pan, add some water or pasta water ¼ cup at a time to the sauce. I added about ½ cup of pasta water at the end and gave it a good mix to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
While the sauce is simmering you can boil the pasta Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Salt it. Then add the pasta to it. Stir in-between and cook till pasta is al dente or soft to your taste. Now reserve a cup or two of pasta water (just incase you want to add to your pasta sauce) then drain the pasta and add it back to the saucepan. To this drained pasta add the Arrabbiata sauce along with Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix it well. If required adjust seasoning to taste.
- I've used Penned Rigate for this recipe. Rigate means ridges. This sauce can be used with any type of pasta but preferably a pasta with ridges since it helps hold the sauce to the pasta.
- Fresh tomatoes can be replaced with whole, peeled canned tomatoes.
- Onions are optional and can be skipped
- This sauce is meant to spicy so add the red chilli flakes to your taste.
That's it, our Penne Pasta in Arrabbiata Sauce is ready. Serve it hot topped with some freshly chopped parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano with a side of Cheesy Garlic Bread. Enjoy!!