Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Arrabiata pasta sauce recipe
( Penne all'arrabbiata )

Authentic Italian recipe from Latium, Rome

Arrabiata pasta is a very simple dish, typical of Latium and Rome, born probably at the beginning of the last century. The recipe has undergone many variations and so the ingredients can be the most diverse in addition to basic ones, for example bacon, mushrooms to sauté in butter immediately after adding bacon for a few minutes, various cheeses (Parmesan and Pecorino). A nice dilemma to determine what is the authentic recipe, even for us Italians. One thing is certain: this dish is called arrabbiata because when you fry fresh chilli peppers in hot oil, the least that can happen is to become red in your face. When are you red in face? When you are angry, right? Arrabbiata means angry. Have you understood? Now I'm going to show you one of the many versions of Lazio. Other versions below!

difficulty: easy

time: 40 minutes

calories: 484 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 280g (10 ounces) penne pasta
  • 400g (14 ounces) fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) bacon, cubed
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounce) unsalted butter
  • 2 red chilli peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 40g (1 1/2oz) grated ewe's cheese (pecorino)
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 15 minutes
cooking: 25 minutes
total: 40 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 484 (kcal) 25 % - 2026 (kJ)
Protein: 16.5 (g) 33 % GDA
Total fat: 21.8 (g) 32 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 59.0 (g) 22 % GDA
Sugars: 6.6 (g) 8 % GDA

Download free PDF version (187 download).

Recipe for arrabiata pasta sauce

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare arrabiata sauce.
    Melt butter in a pan and brown bacon in it.
    Remove and set aside bacon.
    In the same butter brown garlic cloves and red chilli pepper. Then remove them too.
    Add tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and simmer, half-covered, until your sauce is well reduced, about 15 to 20 minutes.
    Add chopped parsley once turned off the stove.
  • - Meanwhile ...
    ... cook penne al dente stage in a large kettle of boiling salted water according to package directions.

Just before serving

  • - Drain pasta very well.
    Transfer it into the pan with arrabiata sauce.
    Complete pasta cooking on high heat, stirring with delicacy and adding bacon at the last moment.
  • - Serve immediately in individual plates.
    Accompany with a little bowl full of ewe's cheese. Everyone will be able to serve himself according to his own taste.



  • - I have just showed you one of many versions of arrabiata pasta, but it is not said it is the recipe I prepare for my family. First of all, I do not use butter but olive oil. Then I often replace fresh tomatoes with canned ones. I sometimes give up bacon and so I have a great vegetarian dish. In winter, for obvious reasons, I do use the chilies dried in summer. In other words, my habits reflect exactly what happens in Italy with this recipe. Everyone has his own version. Do you want that, even for a simple pasta dish, we give up our individuality?
    = _ ^ Therefore, it is necessary to clarify a few things on this recipe.
  • - Meanwhile the term Arrabiata-style refers to a technique for cooking meat more that pasta sauce. For example, steaks arrabiata-style are nothing more than thin slices of beef sauteed in olive oil with garlic and chilli. The term was then transferred to pasta.
  • - Arrabiata pasta can be made with penne or bucatini.
  • - The simplest version (simple, mind you, not the original) of arrabiata pasta includes olive oil, garlic, fresh chilli, parsley, tomatoes and pasta.
  • - The version accredited by Accademia della Cucina Italiana (Academy of Italian Cuisine) for arrabiata-style pasta has a long list of ingredients: penne, fresh porcini mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, butter, basil, garlic, chilli, Pecorino and Parmesan cheese mixed together in equal parts. And the Academy also stresses that this recipe was created recently, to meet the new fashions based on spicy flavor.
  • - And my version? it's the recipe served to me in many restaurants in Lazio, Rome included, and in some Roman houses, where I learned that tenants in the same floor prepare this arrabiata pasta in a substantially different way. Just to continue the discussion with which I opened this page ;)) The same is true for almost all of the Italian recipes. Here is the role of Academy of Italian Cuisine. It registers the authentic recipe at the Chamber of Commerce and closes the babel of voices.
  • - I can say with complete peace of my mind that I smile every time I open a page of a book or a blog and start reading: this is the authentic recipe of ... do not use onion, for goodness sake ... the sauce should not be creamy ... porcini mushrooms? yuck ... ;))

Menu planning

  • - Arrabiata pasta can be chosen as a dish for every day, provided you choose the simplest versions. Or for a full menu when you invite your friends or relatives. In this case, however, you have to be very careful about the other courses because the presence of chili makes this dish "HOT".

Healthy eating

  • - In the nutrition facts of Arrabiata penne pasta you can see calories and fat of the dish prepared with pasta, bacon, tomato, butter and pecorino romano. But I would point out that the portion of pasta is just 70 g.
    What happens, however, if we prepare this pasta dish in the simplest version with peeled tomatoes (1 400g can), fresh chilli, garlic (2 cloves), olive oil (2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) and pasta (in this case, the amount is increased to 320g for 4 people)? Here are the results!
    Energy: 363 kCal (1517 kJ)
    Protein: 9.4g
    Total fat: 8.9g
    Carbo: 65.1g di cui zuccheri
    Sugars : 5.2g
    Fiber: 2.7g


What's the right wine for " Arrabiata pasta sauce recipe "?

My husband and I often pair to arrabiata pasta a red wine: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

A little history

This recipe belongs to the beginning of the last century; it isn't very old. An innkeeper created it because he wanted to modify "bucatini, Amatrice-style". In fact in both these recipes there are natural but poor ingredients, typical of that region: bacon, pasta, butter.