Easy Pasta Arrabiata Recipe

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Pasta Arrabiata is a classic! It’s healthy, easy to make, and the fiery tomato sauce will please all the spice lovers out there.

Prep Time 5 minutes | Cook Time 25 minutes | Total Time 30 minutes



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 (13.5 fluid ounce) cans finely chopped tomatoes with juices
  • 1 teaspoon (packed) brown sugar optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne


  1. Add the oil to a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and let it cook for a minute or so (watch it closely and don’t let it brown).
  3. Stir in the red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and sugar (if using, see note). Reduce the heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, boil a large, salted pot of water for your pasta. Cook it al dente according to package directions.
  5. Season the sauce with salt & pepper as needed. I added a fair bit of salt. 
  6. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce (you can add a little pasta water too if you wish). Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

  • Wondering why there’s sugar in here? It takes the acidic edge off the tomatoes and gives this recipe more of a restaurant-quality taste. If you’re using good quality tomatoes that are naturally sweet, feel free to omit it. 
  • This recipe only contains a few ingredients, so make sure you’re buying good quality tomatoes and olive oil for it. I used Mutti brand finely chopped tomatoes and Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Please see the explanation in my post on what kind of tomatoes to use if you can’t find the exact brand I used – it can make or break the recipe.
  • You can add some fresh chopped/torn basil a few minutes prior to serving if you wish.

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