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Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce! If you like heat then you’ve gotta try this healthy pasta sauce.
Homemade tomato sauce with crushed red pepper and lots of garlic.
Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce! One of my favorite quick dinners and proof that something so simple as tomatoes, olive oil and red pepper flakes can taste incredibly complex. Funny enough, as I post this Arrabbiata recipe today, I’m reminded that I’ve already posted a similar recipe twice already. I clearly have a thing for spicy pasta.
One version is served over pasta with roasted zucchini cubes and another contains a few more vegetables. Both are incredibly delicious but if you’re looking for classic Arrabbiata sauce then this is the recipe for you.
I’m fairly certain you’ve already got all of the ingredients in your pantry already (perhaps minus the fresh basil) to make this spicy Arrabbiata sauce, so you’re 99% of the way there. Make this one soon.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this spicy arrabbiata sauce:
Here’s the secret to this Arrabbiata sauce, start by heating both the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add in the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté for 1 minute.
Why do you need both? Well, the butter (a vegan version works!) offers more complex flavor than the olive oil, while helping to emulsify the crushed tomatoes into a sauce. Cooking the red pepper flakes in this fatty mixture helps impart spice throughout the entire dish.
Don’t skip it! You need the fat to bloom the red pepper flakes and provide the spicy flavor throughout the entire dish. For more kick, you can add in more pepper than the amount written here.
Then, stir in whole tomatoes and their juices to the pot, then use a back of a wooden spoon to gently crush as the marinara sauce cooks. A wooden spoon should crush the whole tomatoes easily, but you might have to remove any tough stem ends with your hands. Simmer until thickened, then add in the basil leaves and cooked pasta. Drizzle in a little of the reserved pasta cooking water to allow the sauce to really stick to the pasta then add cheese, if desired, and serve.
Spend the extra dollar on good tomatoes here, I think it’s worth it. I made this dish with generic tomatoes and then made it again with the good stuff (you know the kind, the $2-3 can of whole tomatoes) and it was so much better than the first version.
I love this arrabbiata sauce most over pasta with more fresh basil, but the possibilities are endless with this spicy sauce.
Enjoy it as a dipping sauce with crusty french bread, on pizzas, with spaghetti and chickpea meatballs and more.
Here’s the question you will end up asking yourself: how can something so simple, be so good? And, that’s really the beauty of most pasta dishes, especially a simple spaghetti sauce like this one. They take minimal effort to prepare, with dynamite flavor. Perhaps that’s why we enjoy a bowl at least once a week.
Arrabbiata means “angry” in Italian, representative of the spicy sauce in this dish.
I love saying Arrabbiata, especially as I can hear my grandmother’s voice in my head as I do. It’s pronounced ahrr-ahbb-yah-tah.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
Spicy Arrabiata Sauce! If you like heat then you’ve gotta try this healthy pasta sauce. Homemade tomato sauce with crushed red pepper and lots of garlic. Delicious and healthy!
This post was first published in January 2018 and has been updated with new images, July 2021.
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