Is there anything better than a zingy, spicy Arrabbiata sauce?
This fiery Italian tomato sauce is a true flavor bomb that’ll liven up any dish.
With its robust blend of chopped tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes, it’s got all the zing you could ask for.
Whether you’re tossing it with pasta, spooning it over chicken, or using it as a pizza sauce, Arrabbiata is bound to turn up the heat.
Best Ever Arrabbiata Sauce Recipe
Known for its fiery kick and robust flavors, Arrabbiata sauce is a must-try for anyone looking to spice up their pasta game.
The sauce base is made from tomatoes, garlic, and onions. And the addition of red wine deepens the flavors.
A touch of sugar and lemon juice adds the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.
Finally, crushed red pepper flakes deliver that punch of heat that makes this sauce so unforgettable.
While it is traditionally served with penne, you can have this sauce with any kind of pasta you like.
Spaghetti, rigatoni, or even gnocchi, the options are endless!
But why stop at pasta? Arrabbiata sauce also works beautifully as a base for homemade pizza! Yum!
These are the ingredients you need to make Arrabbiata sauce:
- Olive oil: The base for sautéing onion and garlic, adding richness and depth. You can use other cooking oils, like vegetable oil or avocado oil.
- Aromatics: Garlic and onion. You can use white, yellow, or red onions, depending on your taste preference. Swap with garlic powder if fresh garlic isn’t available.
- Tomatoes: Peeled and chopped tinned tomatoes.
- Red wine: Enhances the sauce’s complexity and adds depth. You can substitute it with chicken or vegetable broth.
- Tomato paste: Thickens and concentrates the sauce’s tomato flavor.
- White sugar: Balances the acidity of the tomatoes. You can use brown sugar, honey, or agave syrup as alternatives.
- Herbs: Fresh basil and fresh parsley.
- Lemon juice: Enhances the sauce’s brightness.
- Spices: Red pepper flakes, for the signature heat of Arrabbiata sauce, Italian seasoning, and black pepper.
How to Make Arrabbiata Sauce
Follow these simple steps to make Arrabbiata sauce:
- Heat the pan. Warm the olive oil in a sizable skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
- Sautee the onion and garlic. Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the pan, cooking and stirring until they become tender (around 5 minutes).
- Add the tomatoes and seasoning. Add chopped tomatoes, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, fresh basil, lemon juice, crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and ground black pepper. Mix well and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Simmer. Once boiling, decrease the heat to medium and let the sauce simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.
- Add some freshness. Add the chopped fresh parsley to the sauce and stir well.
- Serve. To serve, pour the Arrabbiata sauce over your preferred hot, cooked pasta. Enjoy!
Tips and Variations
Here are some tips and variations to help you make the best Arrabbiata sauce possible:
- Quality matters: Choose top-quality tomatoes and olive oil for a truly mouthwatering Arrabbiata sauce.
- Turn up the heat: Add extra red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper to make it spicier.
- Grind it fresh: Use freshly ground black pepper rather than pre-ground for a more pronounced, aromatic flavor.
- Thicker is better: Simmer the sauce for a longer time or add a bit of tomato paste to achieve your desired consistency.
- Veggie goodness: Toss in some diced bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms for a heartier, veggie-packed sauce.
- A touch of cream: Stir in a splash of heavy cream or a dollop of mascarpone cheese for a luxurious, velvety twist.
- Size it right: This Arrabbiata recipe makes a large batch, perfect for a 1-lb box of pasta. For less pasta or a less-saucy dish, feel free to halve the recipe.
- Thin it out: After simmering, the sauce will be thick and concentrated. To thin it, just add reserved pasta water until you reach the desired consistency, keeping its chunkiness in mind.
Ways to Use Arrabbiata Sauce
From classic pasta dishes to creative casseroles, there’s no limit to the deliciousness you can create with this sauce.
Here are some ways to use Arrabbiata sauce:
- Pasta: Toss your favorite pasta with Arrabbiata sauce for a classic, comforting dish.
- Meatballs: Smother homemade meatballs in the sauce for a delicious Italian-inspired meal, or make a scrumptious meatball sub.
- Casserole: Add Arrabbiata sauce to your favorite casserole for an extra layer of flavor.
- Shakshuka: Swap out the traditional tomato sauce for Arrabbiata in a shakshuka recipe, adding a spicy kick to your breakfast or brunch.
- Pizza: Use this sauce as a zesty pizza base, topping it with your favorite ingredients for a unique spin on the classic pie.
- Stuffed veggies: Fill bell peppers or zucchini with a mixture of rice, veggies, and Arrabbiata sauce, then bake for a wholesome, flavorful meal.
- Dipping sauce: Use it as a dip for garlic bread, mozzarella sticks, or fries.
- Eggplant Parmesan: Replace the traditional marinara sauce with Arrabbiata sauce in your eggplant Parmesan recipe for a spicier version of the classic dish.
- Seafood: Simmer shrimp, mussels, or calamari in the sauce.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can whip up this sauce up to 2 days before serving. Just store it in the fridge and reheat it in a pot an hour before you’re ready to dig in.
Storage: After cooling the Arrabbiata sauce in an ice bath or in the fridge for 3-4 hours, cover and store it for up to 5 days. It also freezes well, lasting up to 3 months when properly covered.
Reheating: Simply reheat the sauce in a medium-sized pot over low heat, or use a microwave-safe bowl for a quick and convenient warm-up.
Remember to thaw frozen sauce in the fridge for a day before reheating it.
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