Penne Arrabbiata

Penne Arrabbiata is a quick and simple classic! This recipe is a great go-to pasta dish. It’s also one of a handful of traditional pasta dishes that happen to be vegan, thanks to the omission of cheese in the delicious spicy tomato sauce.

Arrabbiata sauce is a spicy sauce for pasta made from garlic, tomatoes, and green chilli cooked in olive oil. The sauce originates from the Lazio region, around Rome.

Arrabbiata literally means “angry” in Italian; the name of the sauce refers to the spiciness of the chilli. Arrabbiata sauce is usually served with penne pasta.

This recipe is also not costly to make as just require a few staple household items. Below is a list and cost of the ingredients we used to make this:

  1. Penne Pasta (500g) – £0.45
  2. Chopped Tomatoes Tin x 2 (800g) – £0.70
  3. Fresh Basil Leaves (30g) – £0.55
  4. Fresh Garlic (won’t need it all!)- £0.69
  5. Green Chillies (Won’t be using all of it!) – £0.45
  6. Dried Oregano (Has a long sell by date, so can easily be stored in cupboard)- £0.59
  7. Brown Sugar (We like to use brown sugar, but anyone will do!) – £0.79
  8. Salt – £0.27
  9. Grated Parmesan (Will still be enough leftover to save!) – £1.55
  10. Olive Oil (Plenty leftover to save for another dish!) – £2.54

We’ve used green chillies here but, if you prefer, you can use red instead. As a general rule, the smaller the chilli, the hotter it is. The seeds contain the heat, so if you don’t want it super hot, don’t add the seeds. Bueno appetito!

Penne Arrabbiata

Penne Arrabbiata recipe with quite a bit of spice. If your family prefers milder flavor, omit the crushed red pepper flakes. It goes really well with any plain pasta, but is usually enjoyed in Italy with penne, as the small, ridged tubular pasta holds the sauce really well.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 4 tsp Minced Garlic (About 5 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 600 grams Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 500 grams Penne Pasta
  • 2 Medium Hot Chillies (Adjust to taste)
  • Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • Handful Basil Leaves
  • Parmesan shavings to serve (or similar vegetarian hard cheese)


  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the chilli and garlic to the pan. After about a minute, add the basil leaves and gently wilt them in the flavoured oil.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer for at least 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened a little. Add salt to taste, sugar and the dried oregano.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 10 minutes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water with a dash of olive oil. Drain the pasta and the tomato sauce to it. Serve with shavings of parmesan.


  1. Wondering why there's sugar in here? It takes the acidic edge off the tomatoes and gives this recipe more of a restaurant-quality taste. If you're using good quality tomatoes that are naturally sweet, feel free to omit it.
  2. This recipe only contains a few ingredients, so make sure you're buying good quality tomatoes and olive oil for it.
  3. You can add some fresh chopped/torn basil a few minutes prior to serving if you wish.
Keyword easy recipe, Italian, main meal, Pasta, vegan

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