Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce Recipe – Nicky’s Kitchen Sanctuary

Everyone needs one rich, delicious and easy pasta sauce Recipe in the back pocket. I believe Arrabbiata is that sauce.
A few simple ingredients and a little simmering time and you have a flavorful, versatile sauce with a nice spicy kick.

It’s one of Italy’s most famous pasta sauces, and with good reason.

Silver pan filled with Arrabbiata sauce on a light background.  There is a cooking spoon and fresh basil leaves sprinkled into the sauce.
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I honestly think this sauce holds its own against any other pasta sauce.

Meat sauces, creamy sauces, pesto sauces – I love them all!
But this simple sauce? Ahh I dream of it.

Along with fresh pasta, garnished with a sprinkling of basil leaves and a few shavings of crumbled parmesan. A true pasta heaven.

πŸ“‹ What do we need?

Ingredients for Arrabbiata sauce on a wooden board.

The main ingredients for a traditional Arrabbiata are:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • garlic
  • chili flakes

There are many variations and editions out there. I also like to add:

  • Onion
  • Tomato puree (paste if you are in the US)
  • salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil

πŸ“Ί Check out how to do it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

πŸ‘©β€πŸ³PRO TIP This is a low and slow dish. Slow cook the onions, then simmer the tomatoes nice and slow for a thick, rich tomato pasta sauce.

Image from above of a silver pan filled with arrabbiata sauce on a light background.  There is a cooking spoon and fresh basil leaves sprinkled into the sauce.  Surrounding the pan are basil leaves, garlic cloves, and a jar of chili flakes.

🍽️ What to serve with it


Tagliatelle in Arrabbiata sauce on a white plate on a light background.  A gold fork and spoon lie on the plate, and the pasta is sprinkled with parmesan, black pepper, and basil leaves.
Why use extra virgin olive oil in arrabbiata sauce?

Aside from the health benefits and traditional use in Arrabbiata sauce, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has a smooth, grassy, ​​almost peppery flavor. The onions in Arrabbiata are slow cooked (sweated) in the EVOO to take on that extra flavor that contributes to the rich, smooth flavor of the sauce.

Why use San Marzano tomatoes in Arrabbiata sauce?

San Marzano tomatoes are the gold standard for Arrabbiata sauce. They have thicker flesh, fewer seeds, are less watery, less acidic, and are sweeter than regular canned tomatoes.


Close-up of a silver pan with Arrabbiata sauce on a light background.  There is a cooking spoon and fresh basil leaves sprinkled into the sauce.

🍲 More recipes with canned tomatoes

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Square image of a silver pan filled with arrabbiata sauce on a light background.  There is a cooking spoon and fresh basil leaves sprinkled into the sauce.

Arrabbiata sauce recipe

Everyone needs one rich, delicious and easy pasta sauce Recipe in the back pocket. I believe Arrabbiata is that sauce. A few simple ingredients and a little simmering time and you have a flavorful, versatile sauce with a nice spicy kick.

preparation time 5 minutes

cooking time 1 Hours 5 minutes

total time 1 Hours 10 minutes

course sauces

kitchen Italian

portions 4 – 6 servings

calories 120 kcal

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place the oil in a large saucepan and heat over low to medium heat.

    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • Add the chopped onions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft (but should not be browned), 10-15 minutes.

    1 small onion

  • Add the garlic and chill flakes and cook for another 2 minutes.

    4 fatty cloves of garlic, 1 tsp chilli flakes (paprika flakes)

  • Add the canned tomatoes, tomato puree, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

    4 x 400g (4 x 14oz) cans of San Marzano tomatoes, 1 tbsp tomato puree (paste for USA), Β½ tsp salt, Β½ tsp black pepper

  • Turn the heat to medium and let it simmer gently. Then turn the heat down and simmer gently for 45-50 minutes until thickened. Stir occasionally while breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

  • Stir in the basil and give the sauce a flavor. Add a little more salt and pepper if you like.

    A good handful (about 10g) of fresh basil leaves

  • Serve with fresh pasta, cooked gnocchi or ravioli. I like to sprinkle a few basil leaves, black pepper, and Parmesan on top when serving.

✎ Notes

*Note 1 – San Marzano tomatoes
San Marzano tomatoes are the absolute best for arrabbiata. They have thicker flesh, fewer seeds, are less watery, less acidic, and are sweeter than regular canned tomatoes.
I buy mine at delis or online from Sous Chef. I also saw her at Waitrose. The label says “San Marzano DOP” or “San Marzano PDO” – so you know they’re the right ones.
*PDO = protected designation of origin
*DOP = Denominazione d’Origine Protetta (protected designation of origin)
If you can’t get them, you can use good quality canned whole tomatoes + ΒΌ tsp sugar per 400g can.
Insider tip: I found Sainsbury’s Italian plum tomatoes to be very similar in taste (when I did a blind raw taste test at home). I didn’t need the extra sugar when using this brand (I wasn’t paid by them to say that, it’s just my opinion).

Can I advance it?
Yes, you can prepare it ahead of time, then chill, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Heat in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until hot – about 6-8 minutes.

Can I Freeze Arrabbiata?
Yes, cool, pour into a freezer-safe jar and cover with a lid. Then freeze.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Reheat according to reheating instructions above.
How to scale up or down
Double or halve the recipe using the same ingredient ratios.

  • When doubling You need to simmer 10 minutes longer.
  • At halvingneed to simmer 10 minutes less.

Nutritional information is per serving based on this 6 serving recipe.

nutrition

Calories: 120kcalCarbohydrates: 14GProtein: 3GFat: 7GSaturated Fatty Acids: 1GPolyunsaturated fat: 1GMonounsaturated fatty acids: 5GSodium: 583mgPotassium: 562mgFiber: 3GSugar: 7GVitamin A: 514ieVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 3mg

keywords Pasta sauce, simple tomato sauce

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Hello, I’m Nicky

I love to cook and want to share my favorite delicious family friendly recipes with you. I want to inspire you to create amazing food for your family every day.

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