A bright red and simple sauce, arrabbiata is prepared with only a handful of ingredients, with tomato, garlic and chillies, being the key highlights. Perfect to toss with pasta or over pizza, Arrabbiata, in Italian, translates to “angry”, which can be credited to the addition of chillies, to the simple, tomato-based marinara sauce (which is basically arrabbiata minus chillies).
My love affair with pastas had begun with arrabbiata, or red sauce, how I’d commonly call it. Then graduated to cheesy alfredo or white sauce and then culminated with the super simple, and my all-time favourite, aglio olio.
Though recently, I decided to revisit the sauce that introduced me to the world of pastas, that I paired with my favourite pasta, spaghetti. Enjoy the recipe for this saucy, slightly spicy and super delicious: spaghetti arrabbiata.
4 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
6 large cloves garlic, minced
400 grams tomatoes (6-7 tomatoes)
1/2 tsp black pepper, crushed
4 tsp red pepper flakes
Dried herbs, to taste
250 grams spaghetti
Fresh basil leaves
Salt to taste
Time: 30-35 mins
1. Heat water in a pot, add salt, a little oil and bring it to a boil.
2. Add your spaghetti and tomatoes and cook till spaghetti is al dense.
3. Drain, wash spaghetti and tomatoes with cold water and keep the starch water in which you boiled the pasta and tomatoes aside.
4. Remove the peel of the tomatoes and blitz. Keep the tomato puree aside.
5. In a pan, heat olive oil on medium and saute garlic and chopped onion. Add chilli flakes, cook for another minute or so and then add the tomato puree.
6. Add the salt, pepper, herbs and basil and cook for 10-15 mins, till the colour of the sauce becomes a shade or two deeper.
7. Now toss your al dente spaghetti in the pan, add the starch water collected while boiling the pasta and cook for another 2-3 mins.
8. Transfer the Spaghetti Arrabiata to a serving bowl, garnish with fresh basil and serve hot.
Simmering the tomatoes in the same boiling water as the pasta, helps to cook the tomatoes and hence, the cooking time of the sauce gets reduced.
Do not discard the starch water from the pasta. It helps to give volume and saucy-consistency to the pasta sauce.