Recipes > Penne Arrabbiata

Penne Arrabbiata


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
  • Views: 57,717
  • Success Rating: 96% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Sauce

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


*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.

Step 2: Cooking the Pasta

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

Step 3: Finishing the Dish

Finishing the Dish
  • flat-leaf parsley or basil (optional, to taste)
  • Plant-Based Parmesan (optional)


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.


  • Nalini R
    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
    Kimberley S
    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
    Andrew I
    Hi, Do you add the juice from the canned tomatoes, or leave this out?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    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
    Gloria M
    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
    Kimberley S
    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
    Dawn T
    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
    Jason G
    If I double the recipe, do I double the chili flakes also? Scary! Normally, it's great with 1 tbsp.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    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
  • Freddie  K
    Freddie K
    no comment
  • Cancelled
    great recipe
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Thanks for learning with Rouxbe Mirza!!! Chef Kirk
  • Mohmmed F
    Mohmmed F
    fantastic and testy recipe.well done
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Thanks Mohmmed!
  • Ruth M
    Ruth M
    I'm brand new to this class and way of eating but I'm wondering about the 1/4 cup of olive oil in this recipe? I just read that it is so bad for you. What am I missing? :)
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hey there Ruth - thanks for your question. So you can try to execute this recipe using a dry cooking method and omit the olive oil - perhaps roast the onions to achieve the caramelization that you are looking for in this sauce and then add to the balance of the ingredients...let me know what you think and thanks for learning with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Gaurav M
    Gaurav M
    I don't have a good mill or a vitamix :( please suggest substitute methods to mill it.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello Gaurav: Well, we will go old school here. You can use a fine mesh strainer to serve as a substitute for a food mill, as it has bottom holes for a fine-textured output. Try pressing the tomatoes through the tomatoes through a strainer using a wooden spoon. This may be slower, but you will get a similar output. I hope this helps. Thanks for writing. Char
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    Can I use chilli powder instead of chilli flakes.if so how much and cooking time adjustments.
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    I dont know when the wine has reduced as I can't differentiate it from the cooking oil.any tips please.thank u x
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello Riaz: Thanks for writing. If you are using powder rather than flakes, it is one third the amount in powder as to what you would use in flakes. In this recipe, you would use 1/3 tablespoon of the powder. Hope this helps. -Char
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Riaz: thanks for writing. When the wine reduces, you will will see the vapors from the wine evaporating and the pan will become dryer. You will smell the lovely aroma of the wine vapors. Hope this helps. Char
  • Zeal S
    Zeal S
    Hello, What is the substitute for dry white wine in this recipe? And can I use asafoetida instead of onion and garlic? How much asafoetida would be appropriate? Thank you.
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Zeal, A good substitute for white wine is called Verjus. It is great if you can find it. However, if that isn't realistic, you could use some vegetable stock and add a splash of white wine vinegar. Sure you can use asafoetida, the results will, of course, be slightly different, but still delicious! I would recommend starting with about 1/2 teaspoon, and taste and adjust from there. Hope that helps. Cheers, Sandy
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    can i add apple to this sauce for sweetness and how much would you suggest use?thank you.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hello Riaz: you could certainly try. My first suggestion would be a teaspoon of pure maple syrup or a fruit paste. If you use the Apple, grate about 1/2 of Apple that has been peeled, add to sauce. Cheers, Char
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    Could I make a gastrique out of sugar and white wine vinegar to enhance the flavours?I'm thinking 15ml white wine vinegar and 1/2 tsp sugar for half of this recipe what do you think char?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Riaz—I’m not sure you’d want a gastrique—since it is more sweet and sour. The arrabiata is spicy sauce that works beautifully with Penne. Let us know what you decide to do and share the results with us! Cheers—Char

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