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Penne all'Arrabbiata - Angry Penne Recipe - Arrabbiata Sauce


Penne all'arrabbiata
Arrabbiata means angry, and if made right these penne are spicy. Though the versions offered by the really cheap eateries in Rome rely primarily on garlic and hot pepper for their punch, some of the versions printed in cookbooks also call for onions.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 pound (450 g) penne (or spaghetti if you prefer)
  • 2/3 pound (300 g) peeled, seeded, and chopped plum tomatoes or a drained 1-pound can of tomatoes
  • 1 finely chopped medium sized onion (optional)
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic, or more, to taste (don't overdo it)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more, to taste, OR 1-2 fresh hot peppers, seeded stemmed, and shredded
  • 5-6 basil leaves, shredded
  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups grated pecorino Romano, or, if you find it too sharp, 2/3 cup each of grated Parmigiano and pecorino, mixed


Sauté the onion (if you are using it) and the garlic in half the oil, and when the mixture is lightly browned, add the tomatoes and the pepper. In the meantime, cook the pasta in salted water. Check the seasoning of the sauce, stir the remaining oil into it together with the basil, pour it over the pasta, and serve the pasta with the cheese on the side.

Serve with a white wine from the Colli Albani, such as Fontana di Papa, and follow it with Saltimbocca alla Romana.

A wine? White, from the Colli Albani.

Yield: 4 servings penne all'arrabbiata.

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