Penne all’Arrabbiata means “furious” or “angry” which refers to the spiciness of this sauce.  The bite from the garlic and the spiciness of the red pepper flakes turns this very simple tomato sauce into a pasta dinner that demands attention makes your taste buds sit up straight.  This pasta is very popular in Rome.

Penne all’Arrabbiata

Vegetarian Pasta all’Arrabbiata

Sometimes arrabbiata sauce is made with some type of meat, like pork sausage, ground beef or pancetta, but this one is vegetarian.  And you may also see some versions with other pungent ingredients like capers or black olives.  These additions are wonderful – feel free to experiment! 

What Pasta to Serve with Arrabbiata Sauce

Most of the time this robust sauce is served with a chunky, tubular pasta.  Penne is probably the most popular noodle for pasta all’Arrabbiata, but you can also think about rigatoni or ziti.  And there is no reason you can’t serve this sauce with a long skinny pasta, like spaghetti, linguine, bucatini, or fettuccine.

Penne all’Arrabbiata

This sauce is sometimes served with cheese, sometimes without.  You can certainly offer Parmesan or Pecorino Romano for sprinkling if you like. My family like cheese on all of their tomato-based pastas.

Penne all’Arrabbiata: this 30-minute pasta with a tomato based sauce is assertively flavored with garlic and red pepper flakes, and so simple to pull together for a hearty weeknight dinner.

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What to Serve with Penne all’Arrabbiata:

Penne all’Arrabbiata

Other Simple Pasta and Sauce Recipes:

Penne all’Arrabbiata

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Penne all’Arrabbiata

This 30-minute pasta with a tomato based sauce is assertively flavored with garlic and red pepper flakes, and so simple to pull together for a hearty weeknight dinner.
Yield: 6 People
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Diet: Vegetarian


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes , or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshy ground pepper to taste
  • 1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 pound pasta , such as penne or ziti
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Grated Pecorino Romano or parmesan (optional)


  • In a large deep skillet, combine the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Heat over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is light golden (don’t let it get actually browned). Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally for 15 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the sauce. Toss to combine and cook for another 2 minutes so that the sauce gets absorbed by the pasta as it finishes cooking. Add the parsley, toss to combine, then transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot. Pass the cheese on the side for sprinkling if desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 618IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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