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This is one of the most iconic Italian dishes. ‘Arrabbiatta’ translates as ‘angry’ in Italian and it’s believed the sauce gets its name because of the fire and spice from the dried chilli flakes used. But don’t let that put you off, as you can make it as ‘angry’ as you want depending on how hot you like it.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
4 basil stalks, very finely sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 x 400 gram tins plum tomatoes
400 grams Penne pasta
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Heat the olive oil in a pot over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chilli flakes and basil stalks and cook for 5 minutes until soft and starting to brown slightly. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 minute, then add the plum tomatoes with a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. About halfway through, use a wooden spoon to break up the plum tomatoes so they release all their flavour and create more of a sauce consistency.
While the sauce is bubbling away, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
Drain the pasta and return it to the cooking pot. Add the sauce, mix well and divide between 4 serving plates. Top each serving with a good drizzle of olive oil and a shower of parmigiano reggiano. “Buona mangiata!” (Or in English, “good eating!”)