Say hello to my spicy arrabiata sauce over squash noodles….Healthy, vegan, lower-carb, under 400 calories a serving, and tasty as heck, this sauce is my the best arrabiata and is just as amazing over squash noodles or regular pasta. It has taken me years to get this sauce just right, which is based on the most amazing restaurant’s arrabiata.
Years ago, when I lived in Valencia, this amazing Italian restaurant was around the corner from my workplace. I used to go there for special occasions, or just because I was hankering for their tasty food. They had the most AMAZING penne al arrabiata.
Even though arrabiata sauce is my absolute favourite pasta sauce, in the past I rarely ordered it in other restaurants, and indeed now I never order it, as I’m sure to be disappointed. Nowhere else can possibly compete with that restaurants arrabiata, it’s thick fresh tomato tang laced with garlic and a hefty kick of chili.
My husband also had a surprise birthday party for me there on my 30th, the sweetest thing ever. So when last summer my brother was visiting me in Madrid from New York, and we planned to drive to Valencia, I knew I needed to stop in at my favourite Italian and get me a penne arrabiata fix. Only to discover that it had closed down…
Before this, I had made a few stabs at making my own arrabiata sauce, but had never come close to my goal . But after the restaurant closure I redoubled my efforts and voilá, my saucy baby was born. After the Christmas calorie fest I’m definitely looking for lighter fare, so I decided to have my arrabiata with butternut squash noodles.
I hadn’t had butternut squash noodles before but eagerly made up a big batch. I must say I was not enamoured of the squash noodles at first bite, and tuppered the remainder for lunch at work that week. The squash noodles were a million times better the next day, perfect texture, had absorbed some of the flabour from the sauce but still retained a slight bite.
Hence if you’re not a squash noodle fan, I would really recommend letting them sit in the sauce overnight. If you are a squash noodle fan, then full speed ahead! You can also obviously have the sauce over regular pasta, konjac pasta, or roasted vegetables, with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top, or grated parmesan if you’re not vegan.
Squash noodles can be found in many supermarkets now, but I made mine with my spiralizer, using Savory Lotus’ helpful instructions. Whichever type of noodle or pasta you serve it over, do lash on freshly ground black pepper and enjoy!
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large finely chopped onion
- ¼ - ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 6 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 600 g finely chopped tomatoes - about 6 medium tomatoes
- 200 g tinned pureed tomatoes
- 200 ml water
- ½ tsp salt
- 750 g squash noodles
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- Handful basil leaves, 20g, chopped
- 25 g nutritional yeast, optional
- Freshly ground black pepper to serve
- Heat the olive oil over a medium high heat and add the chopped onion. Sauté five minutes until soft but not brown, stirring often to prevent sticking.
- Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook for one-two minutes, until the raw garlic smell has gone. Personally 1/2 tsp chili flakes is the perfect amount for me, but adjust to suit your spice tolerance level (remembering that arrabiata is supposed to be spicy...).
- Preheat the oven to 220c or 200c fan at this stage if you are having squash noodles. Chop six tomatoes finely and add to the pan, mix well, maintain the heat at medium high for five minutes, then add the salt and cook for between five to ten more minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down.
- Add the water and tinned tomatoes. Turn the heat down to medium and allow the sauce to simmer for another fifteen minutes, stirring every now and then.
- Toss your noodles with 1/2 tsp olive oil and bake for 7-10 minutes until done to your liking.
- Once the sauce is nice and thick, add the squash noodles (or pasta) and basil and toss well until all strands are coated with the sauce.
- Serve with lots of freshly ground black pepper, and nutritional yeast sprinkled over the top, if using.
Amount Per Serving Calories 440 Total Fat 22g Saturated Fat 3g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 17g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 428mg Carbohydrates 52g Fiber 13g Sugar 22g Protein 15g