Pasta with Arrabbiata Sauce. A quick and simple spicy tomato based pasta sauce.
Arrabbiata sauce is a spicy tomato based sauce. My sauce is made with just five simple ingredients. 7 if you split hairs and count salt and pepper. I consider salt and pepper essential ingredients and those fall under my “gimme” column.
You can pair arrabbiata sauce with just about any pasta you like or have on hand. For this sauce, I tend to lean towards shorter pastas like penne or this super fun casarecce pasta pictured here.
What does Arrabbiata mean?
Arrabbiata means angry or mad in Italian. The sauce isn’t actually mad or angry, in this case mad or angry refers to the spice level of the sauce. Spice is nice in my book. I jokingly refer to pasta with arrabbiata sauce as pissy pasta. You can borrow that if you like.
The spice in this sauce comes from chili peppers. You can tailor the level of heat to your taste buds. I like my spice level where it gives a nice little punch of heat and then goes away. I’m generally not a fan of anything that is so spicy it’s going to set my mouth on fire, make me cry and drink 10 glasses of water in one sitting.
You do you though.
Can you substitute Red Pepper Flakes for Chili Pepper?
Absolutely. If you don’t happen to have a chili pepper you can substitute 1-2 teaspoons of red pepper chili flakes. OR you could even substitute a few tablespoons of chili infused olive oil. A tip, if you use the chili infused olive oil cut back on the amount of regular extra virgin olive you use unless you like your food on the all caps SPICY side.
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Want more pasta INSPO? Try …
SPICY CAPRESE PASTA SALAD
- kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small onion - minced
- 6 garlic cloves - minced
- 1 small fresh chili pepper - seeded, minced
- 3 cans - 14.5 ounces tomatoes - chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound pasta
- flat leaf Italian parsley or basil - roughly chopped
- Place a pot of generously salted water onto boil.
- Into a sauce pan add: olive oil, onion, garlic and chili pepper. Cook over medium heat until onion and garlic are softened and fragrant. Careful not to burn garlic.
- Add tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens. Check for seasoning. Adjust salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
- WHILE sauce is cooking, when water comes to a boil add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
- Add drained pasta to sauce pan. Toss to combine. Remove from heat.
- Garnish with parsley or basil if desired.
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