Arrabbiata Sauce

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This Arrabbiata Sauce is spicy and perfect for taking pasta nights up a notch. It’s so flavorful and comes together quickly.

Close up of pasta with arrabbiata sauce.

We took our easy spaghetti sauce and turned it into a spicy, flavorful pasta arrabbiata sauce. It’s so simple and tastes incredible with a hint of spice. It’s become just as popular as our Pomodoro sauce.

There are minimal ingredients with a pinch of sugar to balance the spice. It’s perfect for pasta noodles or vegetable noodles. Garlic, onion, and basil flavor the sauce and it’s completely meat-free. But, if you are a meat lover, you can always add that in.

Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to suit your heat tolerance level and let the sauce simmer for around 15 minutes. Since we’re not huge fans of chunky pasta sauce, we use an immersion blender to puree the sauce once it’s finished simmering.


What You Need

Ingredients for arrabbiata sauce.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is what we prefer to use.
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic will taste better than store-bought.
  • Onion: We like yellow onion, but white onion will work as well.
  • Tomatoes: The star of the show here. Use good quality such as San Marzano tomatoes, if you can.
  • Red wine: Choose one that you’d enjoy drinking.
  • Tomato paste: We like to add this to enhance that strong tomato flavor.
  • Sugar: White granulated sugar is all you need here to balance the heat from the peppers.
  • Herbs: Fresh basil is cooked in the sauce for a peppery flavor and fresh parsley is added as a finisher.
  • Lemon: A small splash of lemon juice will brighten the sauce.
  • Spices: Italian seasoning, black pepper, and crushed red pepper add to the robust flavor.

How to Make Arrabbiata Sauce

This recipe for arrabbiata sauce is so simple and quick to make.

Be sure to check out the full recipe and ingredient list below

  1. Sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil.
  2. Add the tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, sugar, basil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Bring it to a boil then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce if desired.
  4. Stir in the parsley and serve over freshly cooked pasta.

Tips For Success

  • Sometimes the sauce can thicken too much after simmering. If this happens to you, add a splash or two of pasta water to thin it out.
  • If you like extra spicy foods, you can add an additional teaspoon or two of crushed red pepper to the sauce.
  • An immersion blender works great for achieving a smoother sauce. Alternatively, you can carefully add the sauce to a blender or a food processor and pulse until it is as smooth as you’d like.
Overhead of pasta arrabbiata sauce.

Storage & Freezing

This is a great make-ahead sauce because it stores and freezes well.

Refrigerate: Allow the sauce to cool for about 1 hour then transfer it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Freeze: Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the sauce overnight in the refrigerator then reheat and use right away.

Arrabbiata Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Close up of pasta with arrabbiata sauce.
This Arrabbiata Sauce is spicy and perfect for taking pasta nights up a notch. It's so flavorful and comes together quickly.
Sauce Fanatic
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serving Size 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, sugar, basil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and black pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt if needed.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. Alternatively, you can carefully add the sauce to a food processor or blender and blend until it's the desired consistency.
  • Stir in parsley. Serve the sauce over hot cooked pasta of your choice.

Notes

  • Diced tomatoes: We like using petite diced tomatoes because the sauce is usually the perfect consistency without having to puree it.
  • Red wine: You can omit the wine if you prefer not to use it.
  • Crushed red pepper: If you like extra spicy, use 3-4 teaspoons.
  • Thin out the sauce: If the sauce is too thick, add one ladle at a time of pasta water to thin it out until it’s the desired consistency.
Make ahead tips
  1. Refrigerate: Allow the sauce to cool for about 1 hour then transfer it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  2. Freeze: Or Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the sauce overnight in the refrigerator then reheat and use right away.
Makes enough to serve with 1 pound of pasta.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 395mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 574IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

CourseDinner
CuisineItalian

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