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Making arrabbiata sauce is easier than you think! Ditch the store-bought jar and whip up this homemade arrabbiata sauce recipe instead using fresh vine tomatoes and spicy red pepper flakes.
The BEST Arrabbiata Sauce Recipe
Hello and welcome back to the latest instalment of “I planted way too many tomatoes so here’s another tomato recipe” – arrabbiata sauce edition.
If you’re intimidated by making a homemade arrabbiata sauce, don’t be! This recipe is surprisingly easy. You can have a delicious, fully home cooked meal in under 30 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I often grab a jar of pasta sauce for an easy weeknight dinner but after making this arrabbiata sauce recipe, it’s hard to go back to the jar!
Whether you have a garden that is overflowing with fresh tomatoes or you just want to take a stab at a homemade tomato sauce, this recipe is for you! This sauce can be used on pasta, pizza or in casseroles. So versatile and perfect for all of that fresh produce piling up this time of year.
Arrabbiata vs. Marinara Sauce
Both arrabbiata and marinara sauce are tomato based but the major difference? Spice! Arrabbiata is Italian for angry so the name of the sauce is a play on words referring to the spiciness of the dish.
My version is using red chili flakes but you can also make it with chopped red chili peppers.
Arrabbiata Sauce Ingredients
- Yellow onion – you can use a classic yellow onion or sweet yellow onion.
- Garlic cloves – don’t skimp on the garlic and be sure to use freshly minced garlic rather than the jar variety.
- Large vine tomatoes – San Marzano are traditional but if you’ve got tomatoes fresh from your garden feel free to use those!
- Olive oil – ideally extra virgin olive oil if you have.
- Italian seasoning – a seasoning blend that adds a ton of flavor to the dish. It’s typically a combination of oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary.
- red pepper flakes – the star of the show… add a kick with red pepper flakes!
- fresh basil leaves – optional but I love the flavor it adds to the dish.
- salt and pepper to taste
Can you use canned tomatoes?
While I personally think nothing compares to fresh tomatoes in the summer, you can use canned tomatoes if you’re in a pinch! Use one 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes in place of the fresh tomatoes.
How to Make Arrabbiata Sauce
STEP 1: COOK VEGGIES + SIMMER
Add olive oil, onions to a large sauce pan and cook on medium heat for 5 mins or until onions are translucent. Add in garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add tomatoes and increase temperature to medium-high until mixture starts to boil. Add in red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Once boiling reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, uncovered for 20 mins.
STEP 2: BLEND
Continue simmering until preferred consistency is reached. Or if you prefer a smoother consistency use an immersion blender to blend to smooth.
STEP 3: SERVE
Top on your favourite pasta or pizza or any of the other ideas below!
How to Use Arrabbiata Sauce
- Pasta – The first thing that comes to mind is pasta! I love this sauce over any noodle. Add a protein like grilled chicken or shrimp and some shredded parmesan cheese and you’ve got a delicious dinner. Traditionally arrabbiata sauce is enjoyed over penne pasta but any pasta will work.
- Pizza – swap out the marinara sauce on your homemade pizza for a zesy, upgraded ‘za!
- Casserole – I can’t wait to try this sauce in any casserole that calls for a tomato based sauce. It would be so delicious in my eggplant parmesan casserole.
- Sauce/Dip – You can’t go wrong drizzling this on a grain bowl or on roasted veggies or simply as a dipping sauce for veggies. Already dreaming up ideas to dip into this spicy sauce.
How to Store Arrabbiata Sauce
This sauce stores really well! Allow it to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
This spicy arrabbiata sauce can also be stored longer term in the freezer. Simply add to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge and then head up on the stove top.
More Pasta Recipes
- Kale Pesto Pasta
- Tofu Bolognese Sauce
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce
Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce
Making arrabbiata sauce is easier than you think! Ditch the store-bought jar and whip up this homemade arrabbiata sauce recipe instead.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Cook
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegan
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 large vine tomatoes, diced (roughly 2 lbs)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (less if you don’t want it so hot)
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Add olive oil, onions to a large sauce pan and cook on medium heat for 5 mins or until onions are translucent.
- Add in garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add tomatoes and increase temperature to medium-high until mixture starts to boil.
- Add in red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.
- Once boiling reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, uncovered for 20 mins.
- Stir in basil.
- Continue simmering until preferred consistency is reached. Or if you prefer a smoother consistency use an immersion blender to blend to smooth.
- Top on your favourite pasta or pizza.