Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Penne All’Arrabbiata – Spicy Pasta Sauce with Red Chili Peppers

Arrabbiato‘ is the Italian word for ‘angry‘ – and this sauce is so spicy that your face will turn red, just as if you were terribly angry!

This incredibly quick pasta sauce is a regional specialty of Lazio, and more specifically of Rome. Although you can pair it to any shape of pasta, it is usually enjoyed with penne, a short pasta shape with a hollow inside that fills up with sauce. Each mouthful will make you spit fire like a happy, satisfied dragon!

Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins

  • Peeled whole plum tomatoes or Tomato sauce: 200 g – we have used: italian-tomato
  • Penne rigate: 170 g – we have used: artisanal-pasta
  • Pecorino romano, grated: 40 g – cheeses
  • Red chili peppers: 2
  • Garlic cloves: 1
  • Parsley, fresh: about 1 sprig
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 2 tbsp – we have used: extra-virgin-olive-oil
  • Salt: to taste


Boil the penne in a pot of salted water.

Finely chop the parsley and the chili peppers. Peel the garlic clove.

Tip: You can use fresh chili peppers or dried ones, alike. To make the sauce slightly less spicy, you can use fresh chili peppers and remove the seeds before cutting the chili in smaller pieces.

Heat up the oil in a pan and quickly fry up the garlic and the chili peppers. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the pan along with a pinch of salt; don’t cover with a lid and let it simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.

Drain penne when they are still al dente and add them to the tomato sauce in the pan. Stir pasta and the sauce for a few minutes on low heat, until the sauce is evenly distributed.

Serve warm, garnished with some fresh parsley and plenty of grated Pecorino.

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