Penne all’Arrabbiata, or “Easy Pasta Arrabiata” as I call it, is one of my favorite Italian dishes for two main reasons: It’s delicious and very easy to make.
I can’t stop preparing my Easy Pasta Arrabiata because I always keep the ingredients at home. So when I’m busy or I need to prepare something quick and easy or I don’t feel I’m up to prepare something that need more time and dedication, Easy Pasta Arrabiata is a no-brainer for me.
Arrabiata or Arrabbiata?
Non-Italian people tend to write Arrabiata (as I did in the title of this post) while the correct spelling in Italian is Arrabbiata. The original name of the dish is Penne all’Arrabbiata and it was originated in the Lazio region, around Rome. Penne all’Arrabbiata has become part of the culinary culture of the entire boot and around the world.
This dish is a specialty prepared with a few simple ingredients, but with a strong flavor, made with a tomato sauce sauteed in garlic, chili pepper and olive oil. It’s a very popular recipe, often used as a night snack during gatherings with friends, because they are simple and quick to make.
Arrabbiata literally means “Angry”. Reason why the dish is also known as “Angry Pasta”. The angry name is singular. It seems to derive from the reaction in the face that a person has after eating it. The face becomes red as if they were angry because of the spiciness of the chili pepper.
Do you know?
- This dish has been celebrated several times in Italian movies, notably in Marco Ferreri’s La Grande Bouffe and Federico Fellini’s Roma.
My Easy Recipe
I called my recipe “Easy Pasta Arrabiata” because I have substituted a couple of the ingredients to reduce the time and to ease the preparation.
- Instead of using peeled tomatoes that have to be drained and chopped, I’m using Passata, which is an uncooked tomato purée that has been already strained of seeds and skins, ready to use
- Instead of using dried red pepper that needs to be chopped, I’m using crushed red pepper (flakes)
- 1 pound/ 1/2 kilo penne (or other shape, but penne is traditional)
- 500 mg Passata (Cento Tomato Puree)
- 1/3 cup olive oil (Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 1-2 teaspoon crushed chili pepper (Simply Organic, Crushed Red Pepper)
- 2 peeled garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- chopped parsley
- Pecorino romano cheese (Pecorino Romano by Zerto)- optional
Put a large pot of salted water to boil to cook the pasta. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and add peeled garlic cloves and chili pepper. Heat gently for a few minutes without letting it to get brown. Add the Passata and salt, and let it cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust salt.
After you have added the Passata, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook it al dente by following the recommended cooking time from the box. Now, here is a trick that our family in Italy told us. Instead of cooking the pasta for the recommended time, cook the pasta for two minutes less (Example: if the recommended cooking time is 10 minutes, cook the pasta for 8 minutes). Drain the pasta and transfer it directly to the sauce, mix the pasta with the sauce and heat gently for two more minutes, so the pasta is cooked for the complete recommended cooking time while absorbing the flavor of the sauce.
Serve it hot and top with parsley. You can choose whether to enrich this pasta with Pecorino Romano or taste it like this!
Do you know?
- Passata is originated in Italy, but is used throughout Europe
- The only cheese allowed is Pecorino and never Parmesan. In fact, the Parmesan cheese would distort the final taste of the spiciness, softening them, while the Pecorino cheese sharpens it.
- If possible, buy an Italian brand Passata. It can be found in almost any grocery stores in the United States including Walmart
- It’s hard to indicate the exact amount of chili pepper since it varies based on the taste and tolerance to it spiciness. However, one teaspoon will be safe for spiciness, and two teaspoons will be angry spicy. Just play around
If I can do it, you can do it!
You can prepare this fast dish without difficulty with a few simple ingredients with a strong flavor in a very short time. For chili lovers, this is the ideal pasta since there are no defined quantities to put in the sauce, but everyone is free to determine the level of spiciness at will.
I consider myself a person who can cook well, only if they are easy recipes. If I can prepare Easy Pasta Arrabiata early in the morning for my girls’ school lunch box, it’s because is easy and quick.
If I can do it, you can do it.
Buon Appetito! Enjoy your meal!
Just Love Italy
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