dinner gluten-free vegan

Easy Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce

October 17, 2013

With every post I try to include a story or an anectdote about my life that in some strange, twisted way connects to the recipe/workout of the day. A few weeks ago Tara mentioned that you’re supposed to write your posts as though you’re writing to your sister. Since I’m pretty sure neither one of my sisters reads my blog and my guess is that most of you scroll over my nonsense and get straight to the good stuff, I’m clearly doing that right. I don’t blame you, my writing is not particularly thrilling.

arrabbiata sauce

Some days I have a lot of my mind and I’m actually proud of my final product. Other days (like today) I’m just filling space between pictures. I just haven’t had much to say lately. Well that’s a lie. I always have a lot to say but nothing that wouldn’t turn my blog into a straight venting session. I save that stuff for my coworkers.

Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce

Instead I’ll just leave you with this recipe. Surprisingly, this is an easy recipe that can be on your table in under 30 minutes. I say surprisingly since we all know how complicated my recipes can be. I used to love my Prego for pasta dishes, but then I discovered how much sugar is in canned pasta sauce and realized I could probably make it better (and healthier!) myself. I topped this delicious sauce on a package of Shiratki Yam noodles which I would NOT recommend. They don’t taste like anything and don’t keep you full. Just make yourself a good ole’ bowl of pasta and wolf this recipe down.

Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce

by The Healthy Maven

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 20-30 mins

Keywords: cook entree gluten-free sugar-free vegan Italian

Ingredients (Yields: 4 servings)

  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onions
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 T italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (less if you don’t want it so hot)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Add olive oil, onions and garlic to a medium sauce pan and cook on medium for 5 mins or until onions are translucent.

2. Add tomatoes and increase temperature to medium-high until mixture starts to boil.

3. Once boiling reduce heat to medium and let simmer, uncovered for 20 mins.

4. Add in italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and basil if desired.

5. Continue simmering until preferred consistency is reached.

6. Top on your favourite pasta or pizza.

Powered by Recipage
Since I don’t have much to say, tell me what’s been on your mind! What’s your favourite base for tomato sauce? 


Join 10,000+ members of the THM Community to get access to exclusive recipes, healthy lifestyle tips and behind-the-scenes news from our team!

Powered by ConvertKit
  • Reply
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee
    October 17, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Yay for easy recipes, sista 🙂 And don’t stop writing between pics… I love it. Lately, I have been loving spaghetti squash and tomato sauce. I love my mom’s sauce but it is smooth rather than chunky.

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    October 17, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Confession: I have no idea what arrabbiata sauce is — sounds super fancy and delicious to me. And I always find what you have to say interesting, so no skipping over for this girl. But if we’re supposed to write for our sister then I’m in trouble — I don’t have one!

  • Reply
    Shashi Charles
    October 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Girl – I love reading your random musings of anecdotes and happenings in your life and missed it on this – unless the fact that you used to use Prego was the anecdote! 🙂
    My parents and sis don’t pay attention to my blog either – so you are not alone!
    Coming back to this sauce love of you used all fresh ingredients – much better than my way of throwing a couple of tomatoes on the stove with a can of fire roasted tomatoes and calling it “homemade pasta sauce”

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ chelseashealthykitchen.com
    October 17, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I’d probably have to tone down the heat in this since I’m not a big fan of spicy foods, but this looks delicious! I always make homemade pasta sauce too. My parents make their own tomato sauce every September, so I use that as my base.

  • Reply
    Kathy @ Vodka and Soda
    October 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

    all of my blog posts have my word vomit about nothing important but i think it’s the randomness that appeals to readers so the more random you are, it gives us a peek into your working brain! i love you blog girlie, never discount how awesome this site is. and give us a rant! we all love good bitch fests!!!!

    Vodka and Soda

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:26 am

      You are the queen of bitch fests and I could never compare to you even if I tried!

  • Reply
    Megan (The Lyons Share)
    October 17, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I definitely don’t skip over your “ramblings” – I love them and that’s a huge part of what keeps me coming back! Blogs are supposed to be an outlet for you to say what’s on your mind anyway, right’? So if it’s “not much” like today, that’s OK, too! But don’t forget those gorgeous pics and yummy recipes every once in a while, too 🙂

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 11:42 am

    YUM! This looks so fresh and simple to put together. A must try for me!

  • Reply
    Danielle @Labelsarefortincans
    October 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I enjoy reading your anecdotes! 😉

  • Reply
    Christina @ Pinch of Healthy
    October 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Well I think your writing is entertaining so don’t stop writing 🙂 This looks delicious, I actually just made tomato sauce last night but kind of wish I had read this yesterday instead!

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!
    October 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    This post made me chuckle 🙂 On my mind are midterms and kitties. Kitties are always on my mind 😉

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    For the record – I always love the lead in to your recipes!!!
    And – this sauce looks delicious and right up my alley!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I love your recipes AND reading about your life! I am nosy and like to know what’s going on- don’t deprive me of that!

  • Reply
    Alisha @ AlishasAppetite
    October 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I have 2 packages of those noodles in my cabinent and have been afraid to eat them. I dont know why but they just look scary! And I actually don’t have a sister so I can’t take that advice- if I were writing like I talk with my 3 younger brothers my blog would pretty vulgar lol!

  • Reply
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
    October 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Oh yum, that looks SO good! I always have pasta on hand for easy dinners so it’s nice to have a sauce idea to pair with it!

  • Reply
    Alex @ Kenzie Life
    October 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Ohhh baby this looks good! I have to say that when it comes to pasta, I only like the shaped kind, not spaghetti noodles or fettucine. Is that weird? Maybe, I don’t know. On my mind lately–hmm, I’m mostly nervous about exams I have coming up next week and just school in general. I’m still adjusting to taking exams and not writing papers like I did for my first degree. I hope you have an awesome day, Davida!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:29 am

      I totally get it! I’m a penne kind of girl typically…easier to eat maybe??

      You’re gonna kill those exams! Rooting for you babe!

  • Reply
    Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen
    October 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Yum! I’m a fan of pesto and any sauces with cheese 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    October 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Well all of the rambling before the recipe is usually my favorite part, so keep it up! Oh, and all your pictures. But that’s mainly because I am not NEARLY as adventurous as you and it took me six months to buy almond milk.

    I love tomato sauce. Probably because I love pasta and the two go together in my mind. I was wondering about those weird looking white noodles. I’m all for trying new things (that is, I’m all for reading about other people trying new things on their blogs), but there’s something about a clear/whiteish noodle that is just not right to me. I think it’s because, unless it’s water, I associate clear things with 1) medicine, 2) liquor, and 3) the nasty pineapple flavored candies.

    Ok that is enough. I guess I had to show you how much I love rambling by doing it myself. Ending this comment now.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:41 am

      I SO agree! Clear food freaks me out. These noodles especially. I feel like they should be floating around the bottom of the ocean or something…

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I definitely write between the pictures sometimes haha. I just go with whatever is in my head and hope that it comes out [somewhat] legible. This recipe looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Almond Eater
    October 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Ummmm I actually really like your intros. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. I bet a lot of people like your intros and you just don’t know it. Anyway, this looks bomb–and thanks for your honesty about the noodles haha definitely good to know!

  • Reply
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    October 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I didn’t know what arrabbiata sauce was so I had to scroll down for the pictures and then you educated me! So thank you! This sauce looks great, perfect for a tomato harvest!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:30 am

      Maybe I should have mentioned amongst all my rambling that arrabbiata sauce is just spicy tomato sauce!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I’ve never heard of arrabbiata sauce but it definitely sounds like something I would enjoy! Yum and yay for simplicity!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Mmmm….homemade sauce. love it. Such good comfort food. Mum handles all the sauces in the family. I could never beat hers. In fact, she has ruined sauce from anywhere else for me. Yep, I’m a sauce snob. haha.

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    October 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    How about you don’t kill me for never making homemade tomato sauce as long as I don’t kill you for never trying pumpkin in smoothies? Ok done. PS this looks amaaaaaaaze! Love a good spicy sauce…especially homemade!!

  • Reply
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs
    October 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I do love the way you write your posts. I think you’re very inspiring, Davida! But I know what you mean, there are days when I don’t feel like writing long posts either! 😉
    This sauce looks amazing and definitely much better than storebought! I’ll try it next time I’m making homemade pasta 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:31 am

      Aw thank you consuelo! Sometimes I just get major writers block…fortunately I don’t get chefs block though!

  • Reply
    Julie @ Health Nut Julie
    October 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Yummy! I’d love to make my own pasta sauce but I am way too lazy lol. And I don’t think your writing is boring… I read it!!! Keep on writin’ sista.

  • Reply
    Shawn @ Fruity N Nutty
    October 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    I’m pretty sure my lil sis doesn’t read my blog either. 😛 And I love reading your posts, I much prefer blogs with more personal touches as opposed to those with recipes or workouts only. Thanks for sharing an easy recipe, they’re they only ones that I have the ability to make. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah Cook
    October 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Bahaha. I love how you started this post! I don’t have any sisters but my mom doesn’t read my posts either. I’m lucky if she scrolls through the pictures. Btw, you can totally vent to us. I know I relate to how you feel almost always so we can complain together. 😉

    I love arrabbiata sauce! I’ve never made my own before but you make it looks easy and so delicious.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:37 am

      Same here! Obviously another thing we have in common! You may eat your words though telling me I’m allowed to vent 😉

  • Reply
    Amy @ Elephant Eats
    October 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Yum, I love arrabbiata sauce! Yours sounds delicious. I’ve had those shirataki noodles (for a while i was kind of obsessed with them)…they’re much better when either paired with a cheesy cream sauce, or turned into an asian-inspired noodle salad with soy sauce.

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    October 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    This looks so good! I have to admit, I’m lazy and buy jarred sauces 95% of the tip and just look for ones without added sugar. This makes me think I need to get in my kitchen and make my own from scratch! With tomato sauce, I love a regular old marinara sauce. Amazing.
    And I’m 98% sure my brother has never ever read one of my blog posts. I’m ok with that though :-p

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:38 am

      Trust me, most days I’m equally as lazy. Had a moment of motivation to make my own. Wish I’d made more and frozen it!

  • Reply
    Jessica @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad
    October 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I am with you. I don’t always have something to say on the blog. That is when the randomness happens. Today my motivation, or lack there of, is on my mind. That is all I had to talk about on the blog, too. Sometimes I am boring. What can ya do? 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:39 am

      I actually really liked today’s post! You never know what other people will like right?

  • Reply
    Kierston @candyfit
    October 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    So that’s what it’s called! So much for just calling it tomato sauce LOL 😉

    Sounds tasty my friend 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather Wilson
    October 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    You are so silly!!!! : )

    I love all of your writing and every piece of your posts!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    What a lovely pasta dish – mmmmmm spicy arrabbiata sauce! I love fried spaghetti with tomato sauce & loads of chili flakes (I know how much you love spicy foods). That sauce looks like a great one for pizza, too.

    There’s a lot going on my mind. I’m moving out of this flat next week, I’m relocating to a different neighborhood for a week because a family is coming down to visit and there are more vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in the trendy upscale neighborhood. And I have so many posts to deal with – Las Vegas, Portland, Colombia, etc. I’ve been falling behind lately 🙁 and kind of stressed.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:40 am

      Hang in there friend! Life can get crazy sometimes. Try and plop yourself down in a coffee shop and hammer out those posts..but then again don’t feel pressure too either!

  • Reply
    Mary Frances McNellis
    October 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Its so annoying when I can’t think of anything to say in my blog posts! “um, make this, because I love it” -> 🙂
    This sauce looks so good! I’d never heard of it before, but wow, that spice combo looks incredible! Hugs!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I love homemade tomato sauce! I usually throw in a couple cans of diced tomatoes instead of fresh ones (cause I’m lazy), but the rest of the ingredients you listed look a lot like my own homemade sauce. I also add in a splash (or two) of red wine! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Oh I definitely needed this – thank you! I’ve been eating a lot marinara sauce on my spaghetti squash recently and I was appalled by the amount of sugar in the jar! This looks beautiful. Now if only we had good tomatoes in Georgia 🙁

  • Reply
    Cailee Joy
    October 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    ohh… very interesting! I’ve been wanting to try zero calorie noodles, but then again what’s the point if they don’t even fill you up?! Thanks for the post… the sauce looks delicious!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    “Filling space between pictures”–> sounds familiar ;)! A friend of mine was actually just raving to me about these noodles although I was a bit skeptic- your review isn’t helping her case! I think I will stick with regular noodles or spiralised zucchini noodles. Love arrabbiata sauce, I could definitely eat it by the spoon! Next time try adding a bay leaf to the mix while it’s cooking for extra flavor!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:33 am

      Girl you know I love reading your posts and I never think you’re just filling space!


  • Reply
    Allison @ Life's a Bowl
    October 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Yum! We’re all about adding red pepper flakes to our Italian pasta dishes (and Mexican dishes)! My momma makes a mean meat sauce that I’ve made a few times myself, but I’ve never make a traditional tomato sauce… Rather, we rely on Trader Joe’s 😛

  • Reply
    Em Kathryn
    October 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I am glad tomorrow is Friday!!! So silly all the sugar in store bought sauce. This looks delicious. Have a good night! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I have not heard about those noodles but I know not to buy it. I’m always up for trying healthy tomato sauce because I use alottttt . Xoxo I missed reading your space far but I’m back

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:33 am

      No worries love! I hope you’re enjoying the last of your time in Nepal and have a safe trip home!

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    October 17, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Oh those noodles…You feel like your eating alot but 2 seconds after you are starving.

    Love the simplicity of the sauce- would be great to make in big batches and freeze!

  • Reply
    Elise @ 9toFit.com
    October 17, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I don’t make sauces and such that often, but this seems like a great recipe to start experimenting with!

  • Reply
    Paige Podbelsek
    October 18, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Oh yum! I love homemade pasta sauce….when you have some time to spare 🙂 It can sometimes take a while but is usually worth it!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      October 18, 2013 at 2:34 am

      This one can be on the table in under 30 mins which is surprisingly easy…especially for me!

  • Reply
    Kim @ BusyBod
    October 18, 2013 at 1:34 am

    I always read your anecdotes! They’re my favorite part 🙂

  • Reply
    Jan Sproutsnsquats
    October 18, 2013 at 5:46 am

    I love your writing what are you talking about!! You are being way too harsh on yourself!!

    This sauce looks delicious and makes me crave pasta.

  • Reply
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
    October 18, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Don’t be so hard on yourself — photos speaks a thousand words, my friends. THis looks so delish and comforting 🙂

  • Reply
    October 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    “I save that stuff for my coworkers” You are so funny! I actually love reading what bloggers have to say. The random stuff is what gives the blog color. I think your words are interesting! Also, I love anything with tomatoes and this sauce looks delicious!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    this recipe seems way simple! i pinned it for that very reason. this sounds kinda weird and a mix of italian/mexican food, but i love putting black beans in sauces like that. and then putting it all atop a green salad. it’s delicious!
    sometimes when i don’t know what to blog about i just don’t blog. 😛 so don’t feel pressure to say anything! just throw a recipe at me, i’ll take it!

  • Reply
    Sarah Pie
    October 19, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    That looks amazing for being so simple, though the best things usually are, right?! Either way it looks delicious (even if the noodles were no good!).

    As far as rambling I happen to think you have both beautiful and interesting things to say (no matter what you have to say on the matter) and skipping through all that goodness just to get to the pictures would be doing you and your blog a disservice. That’s part of why I get so behind on commenting when life gets cray-cray, I don’t want to give anyone any less attention than they deserve 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
    October 20, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I used to use the jarred stuff all the time too, but I would always add extra stuff to “beef” it up a bit…mushrooms, onions, peppers, spices…then I realized that I was practically making the sauce anyway so I tried my hand at making one from scratch. I love the recipe I came up with a couple of months ago and wish I had made more to last me until next year, but I’ve always got little tricks up my sleeve for quick fixes to that. As far as pizza sauces go, a couple of weeks ago, I mixed hummus with a little tomato paste, water, and a spices and it worked like a charm and I’ve also done the “3 ingredient pasta sauce” which is just a big can of tomatoes, an onion, and butter…easy peasy! 😉

    Oh and just FYI, I always read every word. And I also completely understand where your coming from…some days the words just don’t flow. Oh and ps, I’m convinced that shirataki noodles are just a “fun” food…something neat to look at and have a cool feeling in your mouth, but otherwise just a filler. Not too bad drowned in a peanutty stir-fry sauce though! 😉

  • Reply
    October 20, 2013 at 3:45 am

    i love to have that plate

  • Reply
    October 22, 2013 at 2:03 am

    I have to try this… the amount of sugar/salt in canned sauces is terrifying!

  • Reply
    Cindy Gordon
    October 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    YUMMMY, I love the sound of this! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂

    Hope your week is great!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  • Reply
    Recipes For Healthy Eating
    September 6, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Excellent post. Keep posting such kind of information on your page.
    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hey there, You have done a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and in my view suggest to my friends.

    I am confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

    My blog post … Recipes For Healthy Eating

Leave a Reply

Join 5000+ members of the THM Community and get my free 10 Day Guide to Busting Your Stress.

Stay in the loop!

Join 10,000+ members of the THM Community to get access to exclusive recipes, healthy lifestyle tips and behind-the-scenes news from our team!