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. 

Red Bowl Of Spicy Arrabiata Sauce with Basil

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 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 certified San Marzano Tomatoes and fresh red pepper flakes with attitude!

The reason for this 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 a burst 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, but that’s pretty self explanatory right?! 😉

To naturally thicken your pomodoro sauce gently simmer it down until it reduces to your liking.

Arrabiata Sauce

What to Serve With

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 with attitude, the other one is not.

Arrabiata Sauce
4.94 from 15 votes

Arrabiata Sauce Recipe

The Classic Arrabiata Sauce or Sugo all'arrabiata, made with sweet San Marzano tomatoes, garlic and lots of red pepper flakes!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour 5 minutes



  • 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.


Serving: 2g | Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.9g | Protein: 1.6g | Fat: 14.3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 21.1g | Sodium: 162.4mg | Fiber: 1.8g | Sugar: 2.5g
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Arrabiata sauce, tomato sauce
Servings: 4
Calories: 159kcal
Author: Florentina

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  1. 5 stars
    We made this sauce with your ricotta meatballs and they were insane! There is something to be said about San Marzano tomatoes, we just cooked the sauce down until thick and simmered the meatballs inside the sauce. Best meal I ever had.

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