Arrabbiata Sauce Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


  • Sauté the aromatics: In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
  • Add the tomatoes: Add the whole peeled tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon or potato masher as you add them. Stir in the tomato paste, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Simmer to perfection: Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to low. Let simmer, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency. Stir occasionally.
  • The finishing touch: Stir in the fresh basil, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.

Tips & Variations:

  • Quality tomatoes matter: For the best flavor, use high-quality canned whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano.
  • Spice it up: Add more crushed red pepper flakes for extra heat, or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a different kind of kick.
  • Skip the flakes: If you don’t like overt spiciness, omit the red pepper flakes and add a finely diced fresh chili pepper along with the garlic.
  • Herbs: Experiment with a small amount of thyme or a tiny pinch of fennel seeds instead of the oregano.
  • Creamy Arrabbiata: For a richer sauce, stir in a few tablespoons of heavy cream or mascarpone cheese at the end of cooking.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Toss with your favorite cooked pasta, like penne or rigatoni.
  • Top grilled chicken or fish with the sauce.
  • Use as a base for pizza.
  • Serve as a dip with breadsticks or crackers.

Enjoy your homemade Arrabbiata!


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