Penne Arrabbiata

by Dawn T in Rouxbe Recipes

Arrabbiata, which is Italian for angry, is a sauce made with garlic, tomatoes, red chili flakes and olive oil. Serve it with penne or your favorite pasta for an easy and highly flavorful meal.

  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins

  • Comments: 9
  • Views: 23644
  • Success 98%

Step 1: Making the Sauce

Making the Sauce

*Note: Quality, canned tomatoes are perfect for this recipe; however, if you have fresh, ultra-ripe tomatoes, use 2 lbs.

To start, drain the tomatoes and pass them through a passatutto or a food mill (use the smallest disc). Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic.

To make the sauce, heat a large sauce pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the onions. Sauté the onions for about 10 minutes or until they begin to caramelize a bit. Then turn the heat down slightly and add the garlic and chili flakes. Cook for a minute or so, just until the garlic becomes fragrant. Next, deglaze with the white wine and let it reduce until it is almost dry. Next, add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes or so. Stir occasionally to prevent it from scorching.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and proceed to the next step.

  • 2 - 28 oz cans whole tomatoes*
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp crushed chili flakes (or to taste)
  • sea salt, to taste

Step 2: Cooking the Pasta

Cooking the Pasta

When ready to cook the pasta, add 1 tsp of salt per litre/quart of water and then add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package. Once done, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain the pasta.

  • 1 lb dried penne pasta (or other pasta)
  • salt (to cook the pasta)

Step 3: Finishing the Dish

Finishing the Dish

To finish the dish, taste the sauce for seasoning. Combine the pasta with just enough sauce to liberally coat it. If the sauce seems too thick, add a bit of the reserved cooking water to thin it out.

Serve the pasta in warmed bowls and top with freshly chopped parsley and/or basil and Plant-Based Parmesan, if desired.

  • flat-leaf parsley or basil (optional, to taste)
  • Plant-Based Parmesan (optional)
Nalini R


Looking forward to trying this recipe tonight. I don't have a food mill. Can I just put them in the vitamix? If so, should I strain them afterwards? Thanks. Nalini

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Using a Vitamix

I would remove the seeds from the tomatoes by hand first. Then pulse the tomatoes very briefly in the vitamix just to break them up slightly. A vitamix is super powerful and if you blend the tomatoes too much, they will turn a light pink color. You do not have to strain the pulp - this is part of the sauce! Cheers!

Andrew I



Do you add the juice from the canned tomatoes, or leave this out?

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Juice

We leave the juice out (you can freeze it for another use) and only use the pulp because it makes the sauce thicker. You can add the juice, but it will thin out the sauce. Cheers!

Gloria M

Using Tomato Sauce

This sounds yummy - we both like spice.
I have a good supply of Rouxbe's Tomato Sauce in my freezer, made with San Marzano tomatoes. How much of it would I substitute for the canned tomatoes, given that the tomatoes are drained?
Lately, I've been finishing my pasta dishes in the oven with a bit of parmesan and panko sprinkled on top - I might give it a try with this one.

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Using Tomato Sauce

I would say about 2/3 of the can consists of the tomatoes and about 1/3 is the juice/puree. So, I would use about 40 ounces (5 cups) sauce total - it doesn't have to be exact.

The one thing to keep in mind here though is the sauce may be a bit more "oniony" just because you first cook the onions to a golden stage and then there are onions already in your tomato sauce. I'm sure it will work but just keep this in mind. Cheers!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Spicy But Delicious Arrabbiata Sauce

I just made another batch of this and I have to say, every time I go to add the 1 tablespoon of chili flakes I think "really, that seems like so much" but then I go ahead and do it anyway, since I was the one that wrote the recipe, I figure I can trust it :-) I have to say, it is spicy, but I like it. That is the whole point of this sauce, it's angry! Don't get me wrong, it's not too over the top, but it definitely has some kick to it.

Of course, if you don't like things very spicy, then you could always decrease the amount of chili flakes, but I do encourage you to try it at least once with the full tablespoon to see how you like it. Cheers!

Jason G

Doubling the recipe

If I double the recipe, do I double the chili flakes also? Scary! Normally, it's great with 1 tbsp.

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Doubling the recipe

Hi Jason- Well, but if you double the recipe aside from the chile- you'll only have 1/2 the relative amount of that one ingredient.

So, if you like a full batch with 1 TBSP, then a double batch gets double that (e.g. 2 TBSP). Otherwise, it's half as much as you're accustomed to. ~Ken

You must be a Rouxbe student to ask questions and comment. If you are already a Rouxbe student, please login. Note: Professional certification course students do not have access to this feature. Instead, they have a dedicated Q&A feature built within their accessible course(s). If you'd like access to the content outside of your course, please contact customer service.


Rouxbe Goals

Haven't experienced Rouxbe yet, why not take a free trial to see what the world is talking about.

Rouxbe Students

120,000+ Home cooks that want to learn to cook better (beginner to advanced)
25+ Professional cooking schools as a teaching resource for students
14,000 High school culinary students & their instructors
Training staff from hospitals, grocery stores, hotels & restaurants