Arrabbiata is one of my all-time favourite pasta sauces. Traditionally made with tomatoes, garlic and chillies, this sauce is defined by its slight bite from the chillies. Arrabbiata literally means 'angry' in Italian, hence the chillies.

If you prefer it without the bite, just omit the chilli.

I like to add bacon, but you can also add sausage, chorizo or just keep it simple and serve it as is.

Sprinkle with parmesan shavings or serve with blocks of feta to add that cheesy goodness.

Back to basics: How to make the perfect Penne Arrabbiata sauce



Penne Arrabbiata
0 [small]from[/small] 0 [small]votes[/small] Recipe by Jessica Alberts
Course: DinnerCuisine: GlobalDifficulty: Easy

Prep time
5minutesCooking time
20minutesTotal time

You can't beat this classic Italian pasta dish. It is simple, yet so tasty, and makes the perfect weeknight dinner dish.


350 g penne pasta
1 packet bacon, or sausage, cut into pieces
Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup pasta water
1 tin tomatoes (400g)
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1 teaspoon chilli flakes, or 1 fresh chilli finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil
Parmesan cheese
Feta cheese, optional

In a large pot, bring water to the boil. Add a dash of olive and oil and salt. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes till al dente. Drain the pasta and keep ½ of cup of the pasta water. While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in olive oil. When the bacon is cooked, remove the pan.In the same frying pan, add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 4 minutes.Add the tomato paste and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir to combine.Add the tin tomatoes and mixed herbs. Season with salt and pepper.Allow the sauce to simmer gently for 10 minutes.Add the cooked pasta and bacon to the sauce and stir.Simmer for 5 minutes and add the fresh basil.Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and feta cheese before serving.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @the.south.african on Instagram and hashtag it #recipes

Like this recipe?

Follow us @thesouthafrican on Pinterest

Looking for more delectable dishes to make at home for your family and friends? We have excellent suggestions for you to try, just check out our recipes.