This penne arrabbiata is perfectly cooked penne pasta in a spicy Calabrian chili tomato sauce. A delicious Italian pasta meal with a spicy kick!
Have you ever had penne arrabbiata? If not, you’re in for a treat with some heat!
Penne arrabbiata is a penne pasta dish served with a spicy, tomato-based sauce, with earthy garlic and onion, herbs, olive oil, and Calabrian chili paste.
It literally translates to “angry penne,” but this dish will make you feel excited to share with your family and friends!
Trust me, whether you are in the mood for a comforting bowl of pasta, or looking to spice up your dinner routine, this penne arrabbiata is sure to satisfy.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for penne arrabbiata
- Dried penne pasta – This is the classic pasta shape for this Italian meal.
- Olive oil – Olive oil is the fat of choice to help sauté the veggies.
- Yellow onion and garlic – Onion and garlic will add earthiness to the dish.
- Tomato paste – Tomato paste will give a rich, tomato flavor.
- Calabrian chili paste – This is where we will get the heat to make it spicy!
- Dried Italian seasoning – Italian seasoning will add an herbaceous kick to the sauce.
- Cherry tomatoes – Fresh cherry tomatoes will add bursts of sweetness.
- Canned tomato sauce – Canned tomato sauce will add a smooth, rich, tomato flavor.
- Fresh basil – Basil will add freshness and a touch of sweetness.
What is Calabrian chili paste and where do I find it?
Calabrian chili paste is a spicy Italian condiment made from Calabrian chili peppers, olive oil, and sometimes salt, vinegar, and other herbs.
You can find it in most major grocery stores in the International Foods aisle, or online.
Classic penne arrabbiata is known for keeping the penne as the star of the show.
But if you’d like to add some protein, there are a number of brands that make protein-rich pasta! They’re found right alongside standard pasta in most major grocery stores.
Still, craving something more? Diced rotisserie chicken or shrimp would be perfect additions!
Making your own dried Italian seasoning
If you don’t have any pre-made Italian seasoning on hand, no worries!
Italian seasoning is often a blend of dried basil, rosemary, oregano, parsley, and thyme.
Storage and leftovers
Any leftover penne arrabbiata can be stored in airtight containers and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat, simply place in a microwave-safe dish, covered loosely with a damp paper towel, and heat for 2-3 minutes or until heated thoroughly.
More Italian-inspired recipes
- Loving soup season? Try my Small Batch Italian Wedding Soup
- Want a twist on a classic lasagna? Try my Italian Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna
- Need ideas for your next party? Try my How to Make an Amazing Italian Charcuterie Board
- Craving something creamy? Try my Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions (usually about 9 minutes). Make sure to reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water before draining.
- Heat a large high-sided skillet over medium heat.
- Add the olive oil and onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Next add the garlic, tomato paste, Calabrian chili paste, and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine.
- Next add the cherry tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir and then cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until the cherry tomatoes begin to burst.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir until the pasta is completely coated in sauce. If the sauce becomes too dry, add a splash of reserved pasta water.
- Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy immediately.
- Leftover pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.