Penne Arrabbiata

Penne Arrabbiata

5 from 2 votes
Penne arrabbiata is a traditional Italian recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. A quick penne pasta dish packed with garlic and chilli flavour that is ideal for a delicious midweek dinner.
Penne Arrabbiata

Outside of Italy, not many people have heard of penne arrabbiata, but this pasta recipe is truly one for the books. It really is such a simple dinner idea that is guaranteed to be a hit at the table.

I adore pasta and so do all my kids. So, I love to recreate all sorts of varying pasta recipes such as my chicken pasta recipe to my tuna pasta bake recipe to my chicken spaghetti recipe.

This recipe really is one of the simplest pasta recipes out there as you can probably tell by the minimum amount of ingredients used. It doesn’t take a culinary genius to put this dish together, but it really tastes delicious.

Penne arrabbiata is a recipe that originates from Rome, in the Lazio region of Italy. I have kept it simple and authentic, so to keep it true to its roots.

‘Arrabbiata’ means ‘angry’ in Italian, and the name of this recipe refers to the spiciness of the sauce. One of the reasons I chose this recipe is because spice is very much loved in my household as you can probably tell by my abundance of Indian recipes.

However, as the spice isn’t for everyone the spice levels can easily be adjusted by reducing the quantity of chilli flakes.

Tomatoes come in many varieties, but San Marzano tomatoes are commonly used in Italy. They have fewer seeds, more sugar and acid, and less moisture than other tomato varieties.

Their low moisture content makes them ideal for cooking pasta sauces. The flavour of the tomatoes intensifies with heat, resulting in a rich and flavourful sauce.

Authentic San Marzano tomatoes can be difficult to come by at times. The D.O.P. symbol will help you to identify them, and the certified product will be labelled as San Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese Nocerin. So, if you are planning on using San Marzano tomatoes, make sure they are actually San Marzano tomatoes!

Make sure that when you are shopping keep in mind that San Marzano tomatoes will always be whole, not chopped crushed, or puréed. They will also only come in cans and if they are packaged in any other way, they are not genuine San Marzano tomatoes.

As authentic San Marzano tomatoes aren’t always easy to come by you can simply use any canned tomatoes. Stick to plum tomatoes as they will help reproduce that sweetness that will balance out the fiery heat from the chilli peppers.

Despite the chilli pepper being the main ingredient in this recipe, there is no specific variety that needs to be used. A good suggestion is the Calabrian chilli pepper which will add just enough fiery heat without completely burning the tongue.

My recipe uses dried chilli flakes because fresh chillies can add a slightly fruity flavour. Dried chillies help to add an earthy spiciness that perfectly complements the sweetness of the tomatoes.

It is obvious from the recipe title that this pasta uses penne pasta. Penne pasta is a cylinder-shaped pasta with angled edges on either side. Its chunky diameter and ridges make this great for holding the thick tomato sauce.

You could change the pasta shape to something else, such as fusilli pasta, instead if that’s what you have on hand. This dish really is so simple, but that doesn’t stop it from being able to hold its own on the dinner table.

Dinner will be ready in a jiffy with this recipe. Serve with a side of fresh green salad and let the whole family enjoy it.

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Penne Arrabbiata

Penne Arrabbiata

by Nabeela Kauser
Penne arrabbiata is a traditional Italian recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. A quick penne pasta dish packed with garlic and chilli flavour that is ideal for a delicious midweek dinner.
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 588 kcal



  • Begin by cooking the penne pasta according to the instructions on the package until it is al dente. Then, drain it and set it aside.
  • Next, take a large skillet and heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed chilli flakes to the skillet and cook for a minute.
  • After that, add the chopped tomatoes to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Finally, toss in the cooked pasta and heat everything through for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve the dish in bowls and garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.


Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 588kcalCarbohydrates: 98gProtein: 17gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 17mgPotassium: 533mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 907IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Cooking, Food, Pasta, Recipe, Tomato
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Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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