Arrabbiata pasta translates into “angry pasta” in Italian. But don’t let the name scare you! The “angry” is in reference to this pasta being slightly (or a lot) spicy. You can control the heat level very easily to enjoy the flavors of the pasta if you are not a high-heat person.
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I was introduced to this dish when I was living in Italy for college. I had never heard of this pasta before, but was extremely intrigued by it. I was finding arrabbiata pasta everywhere I traveled to. It was such a common menu item that I knew it had to be considered a staple in the country. And it sounds so simple (which normally means amazing): tomatoes, garlic, red pepper, olive oil. Yum.One of the best things about this spicy pasta is that it is so incredibly easy and fast to make. It is one of my go-to dishes for when I am tired or pressed for time. Plus you are controlling what is in your food. And you are going to be cooking the pasta anyway, so you can get this sauce simmering right next to it and they can be buddies for a few minutes as you wait!Even though this dish is considered spicy, the recipe below is just a mild kick (but of course, your specific garlic and red pepper flakes will vary slightly. The fresher the garlic and the newer the pepper flakes, the more kick they have). If you want it spicier, increase the amount of garlic or red pepper flakes. Traditionally, the pasta is tossed in the sauce for an even coating and it is great with some fresh Parmesan cheese on top!
This pantry pasta is a great recipe to make because you probably have all the ingredients on hand already. And you can easily add your favorite vegetables, chicken, sausage, or shrimp to it if desired.
- Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat.
- Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Saute until garlic starts to brown, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water. Stir and reduce heat to low.
- Simmer sauce while cooking pasta as per package directions. The sauce will taste better the longer it cooks, but just 10 minutes or so should do the trick to meld the flavors.
- When pasta is ready, drain. Add parsley to the sauce. Stir to combine and top with Parmesan cheese if desired. Season to taste with salt, red pepper, and Parmesan.