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Penne Arrabbiata

This penne arrabbiata is perfectly cooked penne pasta in a spicy Calabrian chili tomato sauce. A delicious Italian pasta meal with a spicy kick! 

Penne Arrabbiata in a serving bowl with a serving spoon.

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.

Ingredients to make Penne Arrabbiata sitting on a table.

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.
Peppers in a pan.
Cherry tomatoes and chili paste in a pan.
Tomatoes cooking in a skillet.
Penne pasta in a skillet over tomato sauce.
Penne Arrabbiata in a skillet.

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. 

A spoon taking some Penne Arrabbiata out of a serving bowl.

Adding protein

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!

Penne Arrabbiata served with Parmesan cheese.

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.

Penne Arrabbiata topped with basil and parmesan cheese.

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. 

Penne Arrabbiata in a large serving bowl.

More Italian-inspired recipes

Penne Arrabbiata

Author: Brandy O’Neill – Nutmeg Nanny
This penne arrabbiata is perfectly cooked penne pasta in a spicy Calabrian chili tomato sauce. A delicious Italian pasta meal with a spicy kick! 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 16 ounce box dried penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Calabrian chili paste or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 15.5 ounce can tomato sauce
  • Fresh basil for garnish


  • 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.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 304mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword arrabbiata pasta, arrabbiata penne, arrabbiata sauce, spicy tomato sauce
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Penne Arrabbiata pin for Pinterest.

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

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