The Classic Arrabiata Sauce or Sugo all’arrabiata in Italian, made with sweet San Marzano tomatoes, lots of garlic and red pepper flakes! Literal translation ” the angry sauce” because of the hotness from the red chilli flakes.
So, I finally found it in my heart to show you how to make my Arrabiata sauce at home, from scratch!
I take great pride in my sauce, just like every other great sauce maker on the planet. And also just like them I swear that mine is the best one on the planet 😉
That being said, though it might seem as a super simple recipe, in order for the arrabiata sauce to turn out just right you must exercise patience, cook it on low flame and stir gently every 10 minutes or so. Don’t rush it, enjoy the moment, baby it, talk to it, inhale those flavors and you will know exactly the moment it is perfect.
I have to say, the most important thing you can do for your authentic arrabiata sauce is to use imported San Marzano Tomatoes and fresh red pepper flakes!
They are easy to find nowadays, even the organic ones. The reason is simply because they are grown in the volcanic soils in the San Marzano region of Italy, so they will be extra sweet and flavorful, not acidic and watery. Once those cook down and thicken up, you will have an explosion of sweet flavors in every bite.
The dry red pepper flakes is what makes the arrabiata sauce spicy, so it is extra important to use a fresh good quality variety. To make your sauce less spicy just use less red pepper flakes. Easy, right ?
Now, go find your best enameled cast iron pot and some good olive oil, and let’s get started!
Wanna go for a simple rustic marinara sauce instead of arrabiata?
Simply leave out the red pepper flakes from this arrabiata recipe and there you have it, a smooth rustic Marinara sauce. The perfect one to scoop over this rustic pizza dough this heavenly ricotta and spinach manicotti or in a Frutti di Mare spaghetti with attitude!
- 1 medium yellow onion minced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes + more to your taste buds
- 2 oz x 28 can San Marzano Tomatoes whole
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt to taste
- 15 leaves basil torn
- 1 lb penne pasta or spaghetti
In a large heavy bottom cast iron pan heat up the olive oil and saute the onion with a pinch of sea salt until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and let it cook only for a few seconds until you can smell it and doesn’t get any color on it.
In a large bowl crush the tomatoes with your hands but leave a few smaller chunks in there. Transfer them to the pot with the onions and garlic and brig to a simmer. Add the bay leaf and partially cover 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.
Turn off the flame and season to your taste with the sea salt. Stir in the fresh basil leaves and finish it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with pasta or meats or some fresh crusty bread.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season with sea salt, you want this to taste like sea water. Cook the penne pasta or spaghetti until al dente, according to the directions on the package. Toss to coat well in the arrabiata sauce and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and extra red pepper flakes.