Authentic Arrabiata Sauce Recipe + Video
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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 chili flakes.
How to make the best, authentic Arrabiata sauce at home, from scratch!
Though it might seem as a super simple recipe at first, in order for your sauce to turn out just right you must exercise patience. Cook it on low flame and stir it gently every 10 minutes or so to make sure the sugars from the tomatoes don’t burn. Don’t rush it.
I have to say: the most important thing you can do when making Italian sauce, is to use imported San Marzano Tomatoes and fresh red pepper flakes with attitude!
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 sauce spicy, so it is extra important to use a fresh good quality variety. To make it less spicy just use less red pepper flakes, pretty self explanatory right ? 😉
To naturally thicken your sauce gently simmer it away until it reduces to your liking.
What to serve with:
- Shrimp (spaghetti frutti di mare)
- Vegan Ricotta Lasagna
- Ricotta gnocchi
- Eggs in Purgatory
- Penne Pasta with Sauteed Peppers and Onions
- Anchovies, Capers and Olives (Puttanesca Style)
- Grilled Chicken
- Use it as Pizza Sauce
- In this Vegan Puttanesca
- Ricotta Meatballs
Wanna make a marinara sauce instead ? No problemo!
Simply leave out the red pepper flakes from this recipe and there you have it. Simple as that. One sauce is spicy, the other one is not.
Arrabiata Sauce Recipe
- 1 medium yellow onion minced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes + more to your taste buds
- 2 X 28 oz 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.
- To keep the sauce as a rustic Marinara, simply leave out the red pepper flakes.
Best arrabbiata sauce I ever made!!! So rich and thick! I wouldn’t change a thing! Molto beni! Grazzie e Ciao!
I’m looking forward to trying more Italian recipes, here in England that can weight will be 400g (280g contents), however the extra virgin olive oil 1/4 c I don’t understand?
Hi Colin, that would be 4 tablespoons but you can just use a drizzle here for a lower calorie sauce.Enjoy!
Do you add the sauce in the tomato can too? or just the whole tomatoes crushed?
Just gorgeous. Lipsmackingly good! I halved the recipe and wish I hadn’t because there’s nothing left over now. We even mopped up the last bit out of the pan with some crust bread. Thank you for the recipe!
How long can this sauce be stored in the fridge for? Or in the pantry? Frozen?
Up to one week in the fridge, 4 to 6 months frozen and if you can it first then you can store in a dark cool pantry for up to 2 years.
This is now my “go to” recipe when I want to make an authentic Italian Marinara Sauce and/or Arrabiata sauce. The authentic San Marzano tomatoes make all the difference. Such a beautiful and delicious sauce. Freezes well so I always have some ready for pizza.
I have been making your Puttanesca sauce for months. I don’t know why, but have not tried any other recipes. I made this last night. Amazing! Both sauces are the closest I have come to what I tasted in my many trips to Italy. The key to great Italian cooking is authentic ingredients and timing. I have signed up for your emails now. Two no fail recipes and am looking forward to many others.
Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful recipes with us!
This sauce is so tasty! I did cut back on the red pepper flakes.
Long ago, I had Italian friends whose family from & in Italy use grated carrots to mellow the acid of the tomatoes and add a bit of ‘natural’ sweetness, which my wife scoffs-at since out Italian neighbors in Brooklyn didn’t teach her that way. Does anyone else use carrots? Have you used carrots? Thanks for the sharing of quality food.
Hi Edd! Carrots are good to add sweetness If the tomatoes are acidic. However, If you use certified San Marzano tomatoes, the imported variety from Italy, then you won’t need any sugar nor carrots. These tomatoes are very sweet to begin with and as you simmer down the sauce the sugars will concentrate even more. You can always thin out the sauce with some reserve pasta waterIf you like, but you gotta cook it down first to get the best flavors. Hope that helps 🙂
I made your sauce with the rustica pizza and wow! My family thinks I am the best cook. I love spoiling them (and me) with organic homemade deliciousness. I only use about 3/4 tsp of the hot pepper and it’s still delish. Most favorite!
I am so over the moon to hear this! I believe in homemade sauce forever and ever Xo’s
Just one question, one 28 oz can of the whole tomatoes two? The 2oz x 28 in the list by the tomatoes is confusing me, lol
Hi Marsha, you will need 2 X 28 oz cans San Marzano tomatoes. So a total of 56 oz. Sorry there was a glitch in the recipe plugin that was messing up the ingredient list. Should be all fixed now 🙂
I gotta make this. We love italian food and I make something Italian at least once a week.
Yummy! This sauce is so delicious! My favorite!
It’s good to get the classics right, this looks really good!