If you love spicy flavors, Spaghetti Arrabiata is the recipe for you. With just a handful of store cupboard ingredients, this easy weeknight dinner comes together in minutes. Onions, garlic and red pepper flakes give this famous dish a fiery kick. It's naturally vegan too.
Spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce is quick, easy and perfect for busy weeknights.
Whilst I have used spaghetti, you can swap this for any other pasta. I also like to make penne arabiatta which is popular with my family too.
My easy spaghetti arrabbiata sauce is perfect for your next pasta night with family or friends.
- Why You'll Love This Spaghetti Arrabiata
- Spaghetti Arrabiata Ingredients
- How to Make Spaghetti Arrabiata - Step-By-Step
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Variations & Substitutions for Spicy Homemade Tomato Sauce
- Tips & Tricks For Making Tomato Based Sauce
- Pin This Spaghetti Arrabiata (Spicy Tomato Sauce) Recipe For Later
- What Do You Think?!
- More Easy Under 30 Minute Recipe Ideas
- Printable Recipe
- Spaghetti Arrabiata (Spicy Tomato Sauce)
- Reader Comments & Ratings
Why You'll Love This Spaghetti Arrabiata
- This easy pasta recipe can be prepared, cooked and on the table in 30 minutes.
- It's made with simple ingredients that most of your will have in your kitchens at home.
- This spicy tomato based sauce can be easily doubled, so enjoy some now and freeze the rest of the sauce for a quick meal another day.
- Try some of my other quick and easy pasta recipes:
Spaghetti Arrabiata Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe card below.
Spaghetti - I have used spaghetti with this spicy marinara sauce, but you can use any variety of pasta noodle. Penne arrabiata is a popular alternative. For gluten free diners, use gluten free pasta.
Tomatoes - For ease I use canned tomatoes, but you can use fresh if you prefer. The best canned variety for cooking with are San Marzano tomatoes if you can find them. I also add tomato paste/tomato puree for a really intense tomato flavor.
Onion & Garlic - I've used red onion and crushed garlic to flavor this spicy homemade tomato sauce. You can also use yellow onions or shallots.
Chili - I've added red pepper flakes to the sauce but if you like you sauce extra spicy, you can add some freshly sliced red chili too.
How to Make Spaghetti Arrabiata - Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe card below.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil ready to cook the pasta al dente.
Meanwhile start making the sauce by sautéing chopped onion in extra virgin olive oil over a medium low heat.
Once the onions are soft, add the fresh garlic and continue to cook for another minute then stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper flakes and sugar.
Simmer for around 10 minutes stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sauce starts to reduce and thicken.
Once the salted water is boiling, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta when when al dente and reserve half a cup of pasta water to loosen the pasta sauce if needed.
Toss the cooked spaghetti with the reduced sauce. Feel free to add a splash of the reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
Sprinkle with the torn fresh basil leaves and add fresh parmesan cheese to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between arabiatta and marinara sauce?
Both sauces are tomato based sauces. However, arrabbiata has added red chili making this a spicy tomato sauce.
What does arabiatta mean?
Arrabbiata translates as "angry" in Italian. So this tomato sauce is known as angry (hot/spicy) pasta.
Is arabiatta an authentic Italian Dish?
Arabbiata is an classic Italian dish which is really popular in Rome. This spicy tomato sauce originates from the Lazio region of central Italy and is (I'm told) an authentic recipe.
Variations & Substitutions for Spicy Homemade Tomato Sauce
You can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, which makes this a great sauce to make over the summer months when fresh tomatoes are at their best.
If you love spicy food, fresh red chili peppers can be added to this easy dinner instead of red pepper flakes. Or add both if you like your sauce extra spicy.
To add extra protein, sauté some crumbled Italian sausage and add it into the sauce. Or stir through some shredded leftover chicken breasts.
For a different cheese, try adding fresh pecorino romano - it's robust salty flavor goes really well here.
Tips & Tricks For Making Tomato Based Sauce
If making this dish ahead of time, I recommend making the sauce and storing it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. The flavors are even better when they've had a chance to sit.
Try to use the best quality tomatoes you can find. If using canned tomatoes San Marzano are the best.
Always properly season the pasta water with salt, this really does make a difference to the finished dish.
I always reserve half a cup of the pasta water to add to the sauce to loosen it a little just before serving.
How To Serve Spaghetti Arrabiata
This delicious pasta dish is packed full of flavor, serve with a garnish of fresh basil leaves, some shredded Parmesan cheese, and a good crack of black pepper.
I like to keep the sides simple, some crusty bread or garlic bread to mop up the sauce; and a dressed green salad would be ideal.
If you're keeping things lower carb, zucchini noodles are also an excellent choice.
How To Reheat Arrabiata sauce?
The arrabiata sauce can be made in advance. Once cooked and cooled, place the sauce into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, warm the sauce up on the stove-top before pouring over some freshly cooked spaghetti.
How to Freeze Arrabiata sauce?
This spicy tomato sauce is easy to freeze. Once cooked and cooled, place in an airtight container in the freezer and store for up to 3 months.
Pin This Spaghetti Arrabiata (Spicy Tomato Sauce) Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
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More Easy Under 30 Minute Recipe Ideas
Spaghetti Arrabiata (Spicy Tomato Sauce)
- 10 oz Spaghetti - or other pasta of your choice
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Red Onion - finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic - crushed
- 28 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes - or crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste - or tomato puree
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes - or more to taste
- ½ tsp Sugar
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper - to taste
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil Leaves - roughly torn
- Parmesan or Vegetarian Alternative
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-low heat. Cook the finely chopped onion until soft and translucent, around 8 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the crushed garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
- Stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper flakes and sugar and simmer for around 10 minutes until the sauce starts to reduce and thicken.
- Once the salted water is boiling, cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the packet instructions.
- Drain the pasta when cooked. Reserve half a cup of pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.
- Toss the cooked spaghetti with the reduced sauce. Feel free to add a splash of pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
- Sprinkle with the torn fresh basil leaves and add parmesan cheese to serve.