Pasta arrabbiata

simple and delicious

Born from the combination of simple ingredients - tomatoes, garlic & chili - ready in no time! The arrabbiata sauce is definitely worth trying!

Quick, easy to prepare and super tasty arrabbiata is one of the simpler Roman pasta dishes. It’s always a good idea to make a bigger batch and preserve it or freeze it for later, as there’s nothing better than a delicious, filling plate of pasta after a hard day’s work. Especially when all you will have to do is to cook some noodles. Who doesn’t have 15 minutes?
Arrabbiata is Italian for “angry”, meaning you’re making an angry sauce, which of course refers to the spiciness of it. Fortunately, the sharpness of the dish can be adjusted to personal preferences.

It’s hot!
Some people dread and avoid the painful, eye-watering, mouth-searing sensation. Others love the burn. I’m one of those! Within reason, of course. On my last trip to Rome, I was served arrabbiata so spicy that I was simply unable to enjoy my meal.
In today’s recipe, I used the Italian variety and my absolute favorite, peperoncino.
I brought these tiny dried peppers a few years back from Palermo, Sicily and believe me, they still haven’t lost their hellish sharpness! I suspect that they will last me a few more years!
There are of course many, many varieties of chili peppers on the market: cayenne, chilaca, fresno, habanero, jalapeno, mirasol, poblano, scotch bonnet, serrano, tabasco, peperoncino … These are just a few examples. Just as the salt can be less or more salty, the same goes for chilies. Even those of the same variety, can differ significantly in spice. It is worth giving it a try before using too much!

chili peppers

How to store and use the arrabbiata sauce in other dishes?
Arrabbiata, like all tomato sauces, is a great base for other pasta dishes, and makes a great dressing for cold pasta salads. But not only! You can make a bean or/and pepper stew with it, use it as a meatball sauce, spread it on wraps and pizza, or even, simply, eat it with a good slice of sourdough bread! As I mentioned at the beginning, the sauce is suitable for preserving and freezing, so it is worth making a bigger batch. Cooked sauce can be stored in the refrigerator, covered for 4-5 days.

spaghetti arrabbiata vegan

Pasta Arrabbiata

Servings 2 servings
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins


  • 7 oz pasta dry
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced or finely chopped
  • ½ onion diced finely
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • chili to taste
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 10 cherry tomatoes optional
  • fresh basil
  • salt to taste


  • To make the dish more interesting, I baked a few cherry tomatoes - you can add these to the sauce just before serving .
    This is, of course, optional - the sauce itself is super tasty!
    However, if you do decide to take this step, start by putting the tomatoes in the oven, at 350F / 180ºC for about 15 minutes.
  • In a medium pot, sauté the onion, until softened.
    Stir in garlic, sauté for another 20 seconds, then add oregano, chili and pour in the tomatoes.
  • Season to taste with salt, cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. During this time, the tomatoes will soften - just mash them with a fork - and the sauce will thicken.
  • Remove the lid and simmer the sauce for another 5 minutes.
    Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente [ a minute or two shorter than stated on the packaging ]. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.
    Remember to save some pasta water!
  • Put the drained pasta into the sauce, add a few tablespoons of pasta water and basil leaves [ you can add the roasted tomatoes to the sauce at this point or decorate the pasta with them before serving ].
    Simmer, stirring, for a minute.
  • Divide the pasta onto the plates, garnish with basil leaves and drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil.


Nutritional value - portion
473 kcal | Carbohydrates 75 g | Protein 16 g | Fat 11 g | Fiber 3 g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: basil, budget friendly, easy, garlic, linguine, pasta, peperoncino, tomatoes

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Cooked with by Magdalena Wrona.
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