This delicious spicy chunky spaghetti arrabiata comes together in under half an hour for a tasty quick meatless meal. It’s both vegetarian and vegan so it’s a great quick veggie option for entertaining.
Arrabiata sauce is my absolute favorite Italian dish, I’ve kept it more authentic and have changed up the sauce a bit to make it cling better to spaghetti than my restaurant-style arrabiata sauce recipe.
⭐Why you’ll love it
- It’s quick to make.
- It’s easy enough for beginner cooks.
- It’s egg and dairy-free (depending on the spaghetti you use).
- It’s deliciously spicy and chunky and moreish and clings perfectly to spaghetti noodles.
- It’s very easy to double-up on or prepare extra if you have extra mouths to feed or would like to do some food prep.
To take it up a notch you can also serve your spaghetti arrabiata with this amazing 15-minute vegan garlic bread.
🛒Ingredients and substitutions
Spaghetti: Use a high-quality spaghetti, like Barilla. Of course, if you don’t have any spaghetti you can substitute fettuccine or linguine or the pasta of choice.
Canned tomatoes: These are a key ingredient. You need good quality crushed or whole canned tomatoes, preferably San Marzano. Do not use passata or chopped canned tomatoes (unless you can find “polpa fine” style).
Olive oil: Use high-quality extra-virgin or virgin olive oil for the best flavor. I don’t recommend using other types of oil.
Red chili pepper: Use a large medium spicy red chili pepper like cayenne, serrano, jalapeño, or Thai pepper.
Salt: I just used regular table salt in this recipe, if you’re using kosher or large flaked sea salt you should double the amount.
Onion: Use plenty of onion, it doesn’t really matter what type.
Parsley: This gives a nice authentic hit of freshness but if you don’t have any you can leave it out or substitute it with fresh basil.
Garlic: Lots of fresh garlic, and frozen garlic will do in a pinch but I don’t recommend using ready-made garlic paste/puree or ground garlic.
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact quantities.
👩🍳How to make it
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium-high. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and fry for five to seven minutes until lightly browned.
- Without reducing the heat, add the garlic and chili pepper and cook for two minutes more. Stir often to avoid the garlic sticking and burning.
- Mix in the tomatoes and salt and increase heat to high until the mixture is simmering and nearly boiling. Reduce heat to medium to maintain at a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes.
- The sauce should be thickened and reduced. Finely chop the parsley and add. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Drain the spaghetti, add to the pan, and toss with the sauce. Serve immediately.
- If you’re sensitive to spice, remove the seeds and white ribs from the chili pepper.
- If you’d like it even hotter, feel free to up the amount of chili pepper used. Just be careful as you can add more spice in but you can’t take it out.
- If you’re using parmesan and are left with the rind, don’t throw it away. Add it to soups, stews, and risotto to make them even more flavorful. Just remember to remove the rind before serving.
This spaghetti all’arrabbiata is tasty enough to serve by itself but is amazing when accompanied by some freshly grated parmesan and cracked black pepper.
You can also serve some crushed red pepper flakes if anyone wants to up the heat even more.
If making this dish ahead of time, you can make the sauce and refrigerate it until needed. I recommend not cooking the spaghetti until the last minute if possible.
The sauce can be frozen for up to three months or will keep in the fridge for four days.
If the sauce and spaghetti have already been mixed, leftovers can be kept in the fridge for four days or the freezer for three months but keep in mind that defrosted spaghetti will be very soft.
Refrigerated spaghetti arrabiata can be reheated on the stove or in the microwave, just add a little water to loosen the sauce.
❓Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
They both have a similar tomato, onion, and garlic base, but spaghetti sauce usually contains more herbs, can also contain minced beef, and is not normally spicy.
“Arrabbiata” is the feminine form of “arrabbiato”, which means “angry” and refers to the spiciness of the sauce.
They’re very similar but red sauce for pasta is not usually spicy.
Did you make this dish? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐and a comment below.
Simple Spaghetti Arrabiata
- 1 pot large
- 1 skillet large
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 set measuring spoons and cups
- 1 pound uncooked spaghetti
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red chili pepper finely chopped
- 28 ounces San Marzano crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon fine salt (plus more for the pasta water)
- 1 handful fresh parsley leaves
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat,
- When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for around five minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned and softened.
- Add the minced garlic and chili pepper and fry for another two minues, stirring often to prevent the garlic from overly browning or sticking.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and salt and stir until combined. Increase the heat to high until the mixture is bubbling and then reduce to medium to maintain at a lively simmer for fifeen minutes.
- Cook the spaghetti according to the package insructions, in well-salted water.
- When the sauce is nice and thick, take off the heat. Finely chop the parsley and add it and mix it in. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Drain the cooked spaghetti and add directly to the pan and toss with the sauce.
- Serve immediately, with optional grated parmesan, or cracked black pepper to top it with