Penne pasta arrabbiata recipe

(529 ratings)

This delicious spice penne pasta arrbbiata gains it name from the Italian for "angry". This simple recipe is great for a weekday dinner.

Penne pasta arrabbiata
  • healthy
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories426 Kcal21%
Sugar12.3 g14%
Fat13.1 g19%
Saturated Fat1.9 g10%
Salt0.49 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein11.8 g24%
Carbohydrates64.9 g25%
Salt0.49 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Arrabbiata is a fiery, feisty pasta dish that makes a brilliant meal to serve up for a hot date, or a big family supper.

This penne pasta arrabbiata is packed with heat and flavour - garlic, olives, chillies and tomatoes. The word is actually Italian for 'angry', which makes it a rather passionate dish. If you're serving to children or people who are not so keen on spiciness, keep to one chilli and cut the seeds out, as that is where most of the heat is. Generally, hotter chillies are the smaller ones so go for something larger even though it looks like you're adding more. Serve with penne or spaghetti, as you like.

This recipe is part of our cheap family meals collection – under £1 a head


  • 300g dried penne pasta
  • 2-3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (or to taste)
  • 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 30-40g of pitted black olives, sliced (or to taste)
  • sugar, to taste
  • To garnish:
  • fresh basil leaves
  • freshly grated Parmesan




  1. Boil the pasta in a pan of salted water according to packet instructions (usually 10-12 mins) and drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy base frying pan, add the onion and cook gently until softened but not coloured – this should take about 5-8 mins. Stir every now and then. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for about a minute or so – no longer or it will burn and become bitter. Add the chopped tomatoes and olives, bring slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 mins. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt (if necessary, as the olives are quite salty) and a little sugar.
  3. Add the hot pasta to the spicy tomato sauce, spoon into warm pasta bowls and serve garnished with fresh basil and a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Top tip for making penne pasta arrabbiata

If you like a meatier pasta sauce, fry off some chopped bacon on pancetta and add it to the sauce as well.

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies