Arrabiata Sauce Recipe

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Alina Swotson Published: February 19, 2021 Modified: February 20, 2021


How To Make Arrabiata Sauce

This Italian arrabiata sauce takes your pasta to a new level. Crushed San Marzano tomatoes are simmered with red pepper flakes and bay leaf for spicy tones.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 5 mins
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  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes, plus more as desired
  • 28 oz San Marzano Tomatoes, (2 cans) whole
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 15 basil leaves, torn
  • 1 lb penne pasta, or spaghetti


  1. In a large heavy bottom cast iron pan heat up the olive oil and saute the onion with a pinch of sea salt for about 10 minutes until translucent.

  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and let it cook only for a few seconds until it gives off an aroma and doesn’t get any color on it.

  3. In a large bowl crush the tomatoes with hands but leave a few smaller chunks in there. Transfer them to the pot with the onions and garlic and bring to a simmer.

  4. Add the bay leaf and partially cover it with a lid. Allow the sauce to simmer away on low flame for about 1 hour until thick and concentrated in flavor. Make sure to stir often, every 10 minutes or so, making sure the sugars in the tomatoes do not burn.

  5. Turn off the flame and season to taste with the sea salt. Stir in the fresh basil leaves and finish it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

  6. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season with sea salt, this should taste like sea water. Cook the penne pasta or spaghetti until al dente, according to the directions on the package.

  7. Toss to coat well in the arrabiata sauce and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and extra red pepper flakes. Enjoy

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