Spaghetti Arrabbiata

2 mins read

This classic Spaghetti Arrabbiata pasta comes together quickly and easily with spicy homemade arrabbiata sauce and your favorite pasta! It’s the perfect meal when you’re short on time.


Arrabbiata pasta is a delicious homemade dish that comes together in less than 30 minutes. The pasta sauce is made with a few simple ingredients and the signature spicy flavor comes from the red pepper flakes. It’s easy to make and packed with flavor!

Homemade red sauce goes with everything – pasta, chicken, meatballs, pizza, fish. You can pull together this sauce any time.

What is Arrabbiata Pasta?

Arrabbiata (pronounced Ah-Rah-Bi-Ah-Ta) is a spicy tomato sauce that originated in the Lazio region of Italy, particularly the city of Rome. Arrabbiata means “angry” in Italian and, in this case, angry refers to the spiciness of the dish. The name is often misspelled “arrabiata”.

Arrabbiata sauce is similar to marinara sauce. The main difference is the addition of spicy flavor via the red pepper flakes.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It comes together in less than 30 minutes!
  • No fancy or hard to find ingredients.
  • You can easily adjust the ingredients for more or less spicy flavor.

Ingredients You Need

You will need a few simple ingredients for this homemade pasta dinner.

  • Spaghetti Pasta: You can substitute with penne to make penne arrabbiata, but we love using spaghetti noodles.
  • White Onion: You can substitute with yellow onion, if needed.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: For classic Italian flavor. You can substitute with avocado oil, if needed, but the flavor will be different.
  • Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic.
  • Whole Peeled Tomatoes: I like using whole peeled tomatoes, but you can also used crushed tomatoes. Do not use diced tomatoes because the water in diced tomatoes will create a watery sauce.
  • Herbs: You will need fresh basil leaves and dried oregano.
  • Crushed Red Chili Flakes: This adds the spiciness to the dish.
  • Parmesan Cheese: You can omit the cheese, if desired.
  • Salt and Pepper

OPTIONAL: Some spaghetti arrabbiata recipes add sugar to the arrabiata sauce. If you prefer to add sugar, be sure to use a small amount, only 1/2 teaspoon or so. Some recipes also use a few chopped cherry peppers (vinegar peppers) to add heat.

Steps to Make Spaghetti Arrabbiata

The sauce comes together in one pan. Cook the pasta in a separate pan while preparing the sauce.

  1. Cook the spaghetti – Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente; drain and set aside.
  2. Saute the onions and garlic – While the pasta is boiling, heat a large pan with olive oil and saute the onions until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. Add other ingredients for the sauce – Mix in the tomatoes, basil, red chili flakes, oregano, salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes then use a potato masher to mash down the tomato chunks as much as possible.
  4. Simmer the sauce – Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Stir in the Parmesan cheese – Stir in the cheese until it’s fully melted then add the spaghetti and toss until all of the pasta is fully coated.
  6. Serve! You can serve the spaghetti arrabiata pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Or add protein like cooked chicken or shrimp.

If you’re short on time, you can cut down the simmer time, but a longer simmer time will yield better flavor and consistency.


Recipe Tips

  • Add protein: Add chicken to create chicken arrabbiata pasta. Or serve the spaghetti arrabiata with fish or shrimp. Clams, mussels, lobster or scallops are also great choices.
  • Use it as a dipping sauce: Go ahead, dip breadsticks, mozzarella sticks and more into the spicy sauce.
  • Store the sauce: Store leftover arrabbiata sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or store in a freezer safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Other Easy Pasta Dinner Recipes

Just like pasta arrabbiata, all of these meals come together in 30 minutes or less!

Did you try this Spaghetti Arrabbiata? Leave a recipe rating and review below.