Arrabbiata, in Italian, literally means “angry”, and the penne pasta arrabbiata recipe got its name because the heat of the chillies makes the sauce fiery and spicy. It goes really well with any plain pasta, but is usually enjoyed in Italy with penne, as the small, ridged tubular pasta holds the sauce really well.
We’ve used green chillies here but, if you prefer, you can use red instead. As a general rule, the smaller the chilli, the hotter it is. The seeds contain the heat, so if you don’t want it super hot, don’t add the seeds. Bueno appetito!
- 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
Boil the pasta in a pan of salted water according to packet instructions (usually 10-12 mins) and drain.
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.
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
Be careful when you’re working with chillies. They contain a pungent oil which can stay on yourfingers for quite a long time. So don’t rub your eyes without washing your hands thoroughly afteryou’ve been touching any chillies.