Simple Arrabiata Sauce

I have pretty much refused to buy jarred pasta sauce for well over a year now.  If I am in a pinch (like when I want to make my Penne Lasagna but I truly just don’t have the time to prep the Easy Marinara Sauce) I look for jars with little to no sugar and NO GIMMICKS!  Pasta sauce is one of those arenas where Jake is still of the “more is more” camp and he ends up sneaking weird things like “three cheese extravaganza” and “onion and mushroom delight” (which sounds completely disgusting…how could anyone enjoy that??) into our cart, all the while forgetting that in our real life he is never home for meals and that shit will NEVER get eaten.  Whew…I obviously needed to get that out.  I don’t mess with my marinara sauce at all.  I think that it speaks for itself, and I would rather do something like add roasted veggies at the end or a good helping of freshly grated cheese on top of everything.  I am finally changing my ways and adding a new sauce, inspired by our recent trip to Italy, to my repertoire.

The night before we left Rome, our friends Sid and Chiara had us over for dinner.  Yeah…we have friends in Rome, and our friendship with these two came about in a funny way.  Jake and I rented a room from them in their old apartment when we spent 10 days in Rome 3 years ago.  I saw their ad on Craigslist, and they sounded like fun (and relatively normal) people.  We have stayed in touch on Facebook since then, and it was awesome to get to hang out with them as much as we did on this trip with Gemma.  They took us to lunch in our neighborhood near the Colosseum at a restaurant owned by friends of theirs.  On the Sunday that we were there, we did what real Romans do and got out of town!  We had an incredible lunch at a restaurant on a lake and then went swimming in another one that day!  It was such a treat to have dinner in their home the night before we left, not only because we didn’t have to worry about feeding ourselves as we were preparing to leave one of the most incredible cities in the world, but because Sid made Penne all’Arrabiata.  UM…YUM!  Arrabiata means angry  in Italian, and the name of the sauce comes from the spicy red pepper flakes.

Super Simple Arrabiata Sauce

Loosely based on Brooklyn Girl’s Penne Arrabiata


*1/4 cup olive oil

*6 cloves garlic, grated or minced

*3/4-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

*1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

To Make:

*In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

*Add garlic and saute until it is just turning golden and fragrant.

*Add red pepper flakes, tomatoes, salt, and pepper and incorporate all ingredients thoroughly.

*Cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*Serve atop your favorite pasta with a generous helping of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese if you like!

Survey Says:

This is a great (and really easy) sauce if you’re looking to spice up (please forgive the pun) your repertoire of sauces!  The serving pictured above was actually Gemma’s (Jake and I were STARVING the night that I made it for us and I forgot to take photos) and I added some ricotta cheese in later to attempt to cut the heat.  The ricotta didn’t do much to cut the heat, but she LOVED it and was dipping her fingers in the sauce and licking them to make sure to get every last bit!  Jake and I also used this as a pizza sauce a few days later (as the base for the Pizza Primavera) and it was awesome!!  It might even be a tasty addition to soups in the winter!


10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Liz on August 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Yum! I love spicy food and just know I’d love this sauce. I like that it only has a few ingredients! Will try soon. 🙂


  2. Yum, sounds delish! I’ll have to try that out. Thanks for sharing!


  3. I love spicy pasta sauce! But to go with just pasta we generally add in some onions, mushrooms, and maybe even a bit of roasted red pepper. This simple base sounds perfect though to go with some pasta as a side dish!


  4. Very nice way of putting an easy Arrabiata sauce together. I need to try it, when our little one is not eating with us, he doesn’t like red thinks anyway, he told me ‘mommy, I’m not eating bloody stuff’ 😉


  5. Oh deeelish! I never use jarred sauce either….and I find when I’m forced to eat it elsewhere it tastes too sweet and … chemical like. Thanks for sharing this very easy saucy sauce!


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