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Arrabiatta sauce stired into pasta in a pot and garnished with fresh parsley

Pasta Arrabiata

Shweta Arora
Pasta Arrabiata is a classic Italian recipe made of a fiery and spicy tomato sauce tossed with pasta. Ready in 30 mins and made with simple ingredients, this spicy tomato pasta is the perfect weeknight meal.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 410 kcal

Ingredients
  

For Arrabbiata Sauce

  • ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 small onion finely chopped, optional
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced, or minced
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes or canned whole peeled tomatoes or 10-12 fresh tomatoes.
  • teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dry parsley flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste optional
  • 1 pound penne pasta or pasta of choice
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano Or Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sugar optional

Instructions
 

Prepping tomatoes

  • This step is needed only if you are using fresh tomatoes. For canned whole tomatoes, just pulse them in the food processor until crushed consistency, and crushed tomatoes can be used as-is.
  • In a pot/saucepan 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.
  • Peel the skin which should come off easily. Chop 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.
  • Alternately, you can also pulse them in the food processor to a crushed tomato consistency. I just prefer mashing in the pan directly to save the washing extra utensil effort.

To make Penne Arrabiata (stovetop method)

  • In a pan, heat the olive oil and to it add the onions (optional) and saute till slightly translucent. Then add the garlic and saute till the raw garlic smell disappears.
  • Stir in the red chili flakes and cook for a couple of seconds.
  • Add the chopped or crushed tomatoes. 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 a fine paste-like texture.
  • Stir in 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, Italian seasoning, and sugar.  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.
  • While the sauce is simmering, boil the pasta in a large pot as per package instructions. Drain it and reserve some pasta water.
  • To this drained pasta add the Arrabbiata sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano. Skip to keep it vegan. Mix well. If required adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
  • Easy and delicious Penne Pasta in Arrabbiata Sauce is ready. Serve penne Arrabiatta immediately topped with some freshly chopped basil and Parmigiano Reggiano with a side of Cheesy Garlic Bread or a salad of choice.

To make Instant Pot Penne Arrabiata

  • Start the Instant Pot on saute mode, add in the sliced garlic while the oil is still heating up to infuse more flavor.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients, crushed tomatoes, salt, Italian seasoning, dry parsley, freshly cracked black pepper, tomato paste, sugar (optional).
  • Give it a quick stir and add 1 pound penne pasta, and one 28oz can (3 and ½ cups) equivalent water or broth.
  • Mix until well combined and nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Close the lid with vent to sealing and cook on manual for 4 mins followed by quick release.
  • Open the lid and mix to combine. If you feel there is more water, give it a stir, close the lid and let the pasta sits for 5 mins. The pasta will absorb the excess water.
  • Easy and delicious Penne Pasta in Arrabbiata Sauce is ready. Serve penne Arrabiatta immediately topped with some freshly chopped basil and Parmigiano Reggiano with a side of Cheesy Garlic Bread or a salad of choice.

Notes

This recipe uses very few ingredients so use good quality ingredients especially tomatoes and olive oil.
You can make this arrabbiata pasta sauce with whole, peeled canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes. I prefer using crushed tomatoes nowadays for ease and convenience.
When using fresh tomatoes, I prefer to chop them instead of pureeing, and then mashing them 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 but you can puree it if you prefer a smoother sauce.
Onions are optional and can be skipped.
This sauce is meant to spicy so add the red chili flakes to your taste. 
Preferably use pasta with ridges as it helps the pasta sauce hold on to the pasta.
Leftover pasta can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Leftover Arrabiata sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 750mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 1mg
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