Next time you’re in the mood for a bit of heat on the dinner plate, let me suggest this Spaghetti Arribiata.  Arribiata, in Italian means “angry”, and this recipe certainly fits the bill.  The sauce is essentially a simple marinara sauce, that gets spiked with some hot chili flakes and a bit of red wine vinegar.  The result is a good amount of heat and tanginess, that goes really well with the sweetness of the tomatoes, and mild flavored spaghetti pasta.  Aside from tasting great, I love pasta recipes like this, that allow me to freeze batches of the sauce, take them out in the morning, and once I get home from work, I can have a crazy good dinner on the table in about 20 minutes!  Hope you enjoy this Spaghetti Arrabiata recipe as much as I do!

Recipe Overview & Keys to Success

To make the best Spaghetti Arrabiata, just follow these few cooking techniques:

  1. First off, make a good sauce – to you own tastes.  It’s not hard, the main thing you need to do is taste as you go, and add ingredients a bit at a time.  For instance, add half the amount chili flakes I suggest, then taste 20 minutes later…maybe it will be hot enough, if not you can add more!
  2. Cook the spaghetti to al dente – because no one like overcooked pasta.  Stir it a few times, while it cooks to prevent sticking.  About 2 minutes before the package suggests it’s done, start tasting it.  And then taste it every 30 seconds or so, until it done.  Take it out the moment it reaches al dente and we’ll finish it in the pan
  3. Once drained, add the spaghetti to a sauté pan, then add the sauce to finish it in the pan.  That ensure the pasta and arrabiata sauce work perfectly together.

SPAGHETTI ARRABIATA

Ingredients for Spaghetti Arrabiata (for 2)

  • 32 oz of canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 4 – 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • 1/3 lbs of Spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil

Spaghetti Arrabiata

  • To make the sauce, bring a sauce pan to temperature over medium heat, and coat with olive oil
  • Add the diced onion & garlic and season with salt and pepper
  • Toss the onion every couple minutes and sweat them until they become translucent
  • Add the tomato paste to the onions, stirring it in, and allow it to cook for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking (if needed, turn down the heat)
  • Add the chili flakes and allow those to cook for about a minute
  • Add the canned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and stir everything to combine
  • At this point, you may want to add some water if the tomatoes look to thick (that water will evaporate as the sauce cooks and the flavors develop)
  • Cover and allow the sauce to just simmer for about an hour
  • Add half the vinegar, stir in and taste.  If desired, add in more vinegar
  • Cover the arrabiata sauce again, and cook at least another 20 minutes
  • Taste once more, and reseason if desired.  You should have enough sauce for 8 – 10 servings, and the balance can be frozen for future use
  • Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, and add the spaghetti.  Stir to prevent the spaghetti from sticking and the stir every 2 – 3 minutes until cooked
  • While the spaghetti cooks, transfer about 3/4 cup of the arrabiata sauce to a sauté pan (or however much you’d like to eat) and put it over medium heat
  • Once the spaghetti is al dente, reserve some of the pasta water, and then drain
  • Add the spaghetti to the arrabiata sauce in the sauté pan, and turn the heat to high
  • Toss and cook together for about 2 minutes, season with salt and pepper, and then taste; adjust the seasoning if needed
  • Turn the heat off, add a drizzle of olive oil, and some parmesan cheese and toss once more to combine
  • Serve the spaghetti arrabiata up in a pasta bowl, I love to serve a nice cool side salad to temper the heat from the chili!


Wine Recommendation: Like most tomato sauces, I’m going to suggest a Chianti.  Chianti seems to have a natural affinity with tomatoes, and although the tannin in red wine isn’t usually great with spicy foods, this wine is generally pretty light in the tannin and oak department and should work just fine.

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