Penne Arrabbiata, is a simple spicy Italian Pasta dish. A few ingredients and spices makes this quick and easy recipe the perfect weekday go to.
Living in Italy you learn to eat and make so many different pasta dishes, some are light and quick and some are heavier and creamier.
I really can’t say which I prefer because I am a die-hard pasta lover and in my humble opinion any Pasta is a good pasta! I will never say no to a plate of pasta. Needless to say I make pasta at least 4 times a week.
- Penne Pasta
- Olive oil
- Garlic – fresh minced garlic
- Hot pepper flakes – can’t have arrabbiata without! You can also substitute dried with chopped fresh Italian hot peppers.
- Canned tomatoes – pelati tomatoes
- Capers – optional
- Italian parsley – also known as flat leaf parsley
What are Pelati Tomatoes?
Pelati tomatoes are skinned plum (san marzano) tomatoes that are canned in their own juice with no additives such as salt, garlic basil etc. You can also use canned chopped tomatoes or even passata as long as there is nothing added to the tomatoes.
What does Arrabbiata mean?
But when time is short and I need something delicious and quick, this is one of the Pasta Recipes I rely on, Penne Arrabiata, which means angry in English. This Dish originated in the Region of Lazio most likely Rome. It is usually served with Penne Pasta.
The reason it is called angry is due to the heat of the hot peppers in the sauce, so the more you add the hotter it gets. Some people like to add capers to the dish, which gives the pasta a unique flavour.
How to make it
In a large pot of salted boiling water cook pasta al dente, drain. While pasta is cooking prepare the sauce.
In a medium to large frying pan add the oil, and garlic sauté for approximately 1 minute then add the hot pepper flakes, salt and tomatoes continue to cook on low to medium until thickened, approximately 10-15 minutes.
Add the capers then add drained cooked pasta and a little pasta water, heat on high tossing gently and constantly until thickened and creamy. Top with chopped fresh parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.
How to cook Pasta
Always buy a good pasta and cook till al dente, if it is a good package following the cooking time on the box is a good idea. No need to throw it against the wall, taste one to see if its cooked.
Always cook the pasta in enough water, you will need 4 cups (1 litre) for 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) of pasta. Be sure to choose the correct size pot, you don’t want the water to reach the rim and overflow, because pasta, when cooked, can increase in volume up to three times. Always cover the pot when boiling the water, but remove it once the pasta has been added.
Calculate about 5g (1 teaspoon) of salt for every litre (quart) of water. Add the salt only when the water has reached a boil and never before.
After adding the pasta to the pot, bring it back to a boil and keep it at a boil while the pasta is cooking. This allows the pasta to achieve an even cooking, be sure to stir frequently while it is cooking.
Never pass the freshly drained pasta under running tap water. You should never stop the cooking, even when you are making a cold pasta salad, let it cool by adding a drizzle of olive oil to prevent it from sticking. Drain the pasta al dente, this is done by tasting, if it has a bite to it it’s ready, nothing worse than mushy pasta.
What is the origin of Pasta Arrabbiata?
This dish is from the region of Lazio, it is believed that a Roman innkeeper served it for the first time in the early twentieth century as an alternative to Pasta Amatriciana, without the bacon and with the addition of garlic and hot spice.
How to store it
Any leftover pasta should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated. It will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. Heat the leftovers in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. Add a little water then re-heat.
This Pasta Dish is the perfect weeknight dinner idea because it is so quick to make, Penne Arrabbiata is ready and on the table in 15 or 20 minutes tops!
While your sauce is cooking and thickening and Oh that amazing, beautiful aroma, you can cook your pasta. Toss together and there you go dinner is served. Buon Appetito!
More Fast and Easy Pasta Recipes:
- Creamy Pasta Boscaiola with Mushrooms and Sausage
- Oricchiette Pasta with Broccoli Rabe
- Easy Skillet Artichoke Pasta
Easy Italian Penne Arrabbiata
- 3 cups cooked penne pasta (1 1/2 – 2 cups dry)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (or as much as desired)*
- 1 1/2 cups canned pelati (peeled) tomatoes (chopped nothing added)
- 3 tablespoons capers (rinsed before cooking if desired)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
*If you prefer you can add chopped Italian Hot Peppers (peperoncino)
- In a large pot of salted boiling water cook pasta al dente, drain. While pasta is cooking prepare the sauce.
- In a large pan add the oil and minced garlic, sauté for approximately 1 minute add the hot pepper flakes, salt and tomatoes, continue to cook on low to medium until thickened, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add the capers combine, add the cooked pasta and ¼-⅓ pasta water, heat on high tossing gently and constantly until thickened and creamy (about 1-2 minutes). Top with chopped fresh parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!
Updated from March 3, 2015.