Penne all’Arrabbiata (Italian Pasta with Dried Chili)

The more ingredients the better? Well, not if you judge by his traditional Italian pasta dish. The traditional recipe for Penne all’Arrabbiata creates an explosion of taste, while using nothing more than tomatoes, garlic, dried chili and extra virgin olive oil.

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Penne all'Arrabbiata is one of Italy's finest.

What is Penne all’Arrabbiata?

Sugo all’arrabbiata (Arrabbiata sauce) is a traditional Italian sauce consisting of tomatoes, dried red chili peppers and garlic, cooked together in olive oil. The sauce used in Penne all’Arrabiata originates from Lazio, the region around Rome and is – which will come to no surprise – traditionally eaten with penne.

The word arrabbiata means ‘angry’, referring to the dried red chilies that set the Penne all’Arrabiata on fire.

To cheese or not to cheese 

Italian chefs disagree on whether Penne all’Arrabiata should or should not be served with grated cheese on top. We of course cheer for the ones claiming it doesn’t and invite you to go ahead and taste for yourself! And don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us where you stand :-).


For 2 servings

  • 175 grams of penne
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 dried chilies, crushed (or substitute with 1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes)
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped up into square pieces of half a centimeter 
  • A few branches of parsley, chopped up
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Kitchen utensils

  • Mortar and pestle (or substitute with cutting board and large knife)
  • Cooking pan
  • Saucepan

How to make Penne all’Arrabbiata

Prep: 10 min. | Cook: 15 min. | Total: 25 min.

Sautéing crushed garlic and dried chilies in olive oil.
  1. Put 175 grams of Penne into a cooking pan with boiling water and a pinch of salt. Boil al dente.
  1. Chop 5 tomatoes into small squares of about half a centimeter or smaller.
  1. Crush 2 cloves of garlic and 2 dried chilies to the point that you get the juice out.
  1. Put 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a saucepan and wait for the oil to get hot.

  2. Add the crushed garlic and chilies. Let them simmer for only a few seconds, to prevent the garlic from coloring. Then toss in the 5 chopped up tomatoes.

  3. Stir for a couple of times and let the sauce simmer for about 12 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, chop up the parsley.
  1. When the tomatoes have gone soft, your sauce is done. Add the penne and the parsley and mix everything up. 
Simmering sauce.

Ready to serve! Buon appetito :-).

Penne all'Arrabbiata: for authentic, pure Italian food.


Recipe: Penne all’Arrabbiata
Country: Italy
Prep: 10 min.
Cook: 15 min.
Total: 25 min.
Ingredients: tomato, garlic, dried red chili, parsley, penne, extra virgin olive oil
Type of meal: lunch, dinner

Wanted: your thoughts on Penne all’Arrabbiata!

So, the moment of truth … do you miss the cheese when you make this traditional Italian pasta? We ourselves love how the simplicity of this recipe brings out the best in every ingredient used. We would really like to know if you feel the same way! So don’t be shy :-).

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