Easy Spaghetti Arrabiata (6-ingredient sauce)

Spaghetti arrabiata is a tomato-based pasta recipe made with basic ingredients like garlic, chilli flakes and basil. Find out the secret of easily making your own tomato paste that adds a depth of flavor to the spicy spaghetti sauce.

Spaghetti arrabiata on a white plate with a fork.

Why You’ll Love This Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

A quick and easy weeknight dinner recipe is always a dream come true. With just 6 main ingredients, this authentic arrabbiata sauce could soon become your go-to spaghetti sauce.

You wouldn’t believe that garlic, tomatoes, chili flakes and basil could come together as a flavorful pasta sauce you’re going to love. The spice of chilies is balanced by the tang of tomatoes with garlic and parmesan adding to the Italian flavors.

If you’ve tried my pasta recipes like red pesto pasta or tomato chili prawn pasta, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

This spicy spaghetti sauce uses a homemade tomato paste that’s so easy to make that you’ll wonder why you haven’t thought about it earlier. I came up with this method of making tomato paste when I couldn’t find one at the nearby supermarket.

This happens to most of us, right? You stumble upon something and it becomes an instant hit! That’s what happened here.

You can make the tomato paste in the microwave while cooking the other ingredients at the same time. Time and effort saved! (Unless you insist on buying the paste.)

Here’s how to make arrabiata sauce:

Ingredients

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Labelled ingredients for spaghetti arrabbiata recipe.
  • Tomatoes: This is the most important ingredient of the arrabiata sauce recipe. Choose fresh, ripe ones for maximum flavor.
  • Basil: I’ve used both fresh and dried ones. If you don’t have fresh basil, use more of the dried one.
  • Chili flakes is what makes arrabiata spicy and different from other tomato-based sauces. You can adjust the quantity according to your taste.
  • Parmigiano reggiano is more flavorful than parmesan. If you don’t have it, feel free to use parmesan.
  • In addition, you’ll need a dash of salt, pepper and sugar for the tomato paste.

Video

How To Make Spaghetti Arrabiata: Step by step

Cook Pasta

  1. Boil water with salt in a deep pot. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add pasta.
  2. Keep stirring the pasta every few minutes so they don’t clump together.
  3. Once the spaghetti is cooked al dente, drain using a colander. Put the pasta back into the pot and toss with olive oil.
  4. Keep the pasta covered for about 5 to 10 minutes. This prevents the pasta from drying out.

Spaghetti sauce secret ingredient

This quick and easy homemade tomato paste is the secret ingredient that intensifies the flavor of the spaghetti sauce.

Puree 2 tomatoes and place in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add a large pinch each of salt, pepper, sugar and chilli flakes. Drizzle olive oil and mix everything together.

Microwave (in open bowl) on high power for 10 minutes. Remove and stir. Microwave again for 5 minutes.

Check the consistency. If the tomato paste is not thick enough, stir and microwave for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Make Authentic Arrabiata Sauce

  1. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the remaining tomatoes. Add them to the pan and sauté on high flame for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the tomatoes are mushy and cooked through.
  3. Add the tomato paste.
  4. Stir-in chilli flakes, salt and dried basil.
  5. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until it reaches a saucy consistency.

Toss and Garnish

Cooked spaghetti with authentic arrabiata sauce in a pan.

Add the arrabbiata sauce to cooked pasta and toss.

Sprinkle grated cheese and garnish with julienned fresh basil leaves.

Tips to make the best Arrabiata Spaghetti

  • Tomato paste: Use a microwave-safe bowl that is large enough. The tomato puree should fill up only half the bowl. You wouldn’t want the liquid to splash all over the microwave. (I learned it the hard way πŸ™ )
  • Pasta cooking time: depends on the type of pasta used. Always cook 2 minutes less than the time specified on the package.
  • Al dente pasta: It means that the pasta is cooked tender enough to chew, but has a bite to it. The best way to test is to literally bite into a strand of spaghetti!
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano: Always buy blocks of cheese and grate them whenever required. Freshly grated cheese makes a WORLD of difference to the pasta.
  • In addition to basil, you can also use parsley, either fresh or dried.
Spicy arrabiata spaghetti on a white plate with a fork full of pasta.

Common Questions about Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

How can I spice up my spaghetti sauce?

There are many ways to spice up your spaghetti sauce and give it a more complex and flavorful taste. Here are some ideas:
1. Add herbs: Adding fresh or dried herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, or rosemary can add a lot of flavor to your sauce. You can add them to the sauce while it’s cooking or sprinkle them on top of the finished dish.
2. Use aromatics: Adding aromatics like garlic, onions, or shallots can add depth and complexity to your sauce. Sauté them in olive oil before adding your tomato sauce to the pan.
3. Add spices: Spices like cumin, coriander, paprika, or red pepper flakes can add warmth and complexity to your sauce. Add a pinch or two to your tomato sauce while it’s cooking.
4. Try different tomato products: Using different tomato products like diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or tomato paste can change the texture and flavor of your sauce.
5. Add cheese: Adding grated Parmesan cheese to your tomato sauce can add a salty, umami flavor to the sauce.

How do you make homemade spaghetti sauce taste better?

Making homemade spaghetti sauce taste better can be achieved by following these tips:
Use high-quality ingredients: Start with high-quality tomatoes, fresh herbs, and quality olive oil. Using fresh garlic and onions can also add a lot of flavor to your sauce.
Cook it low and slow: Simmering the sauce slowly over low heat can help to develop a richer, more complex flavor.
Add umami-rich ingredients: Adding ingredients like mushrooms, anchovies, or Parmesan cheese can add a rich, savory flavor to your sauce.
Add sweetness: Adding a pinch of sugar or a grated carrot can help to balance the acidity in the tomatoes and make the sauce taste more flavorful.
Add some heat: Adding red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper can add some heat and spice to your sauce.
Add some acidity: Adding a bit of lemon juice can add a bright acidity to the sauce.
Season well: Taste the sauce as it cooks and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.
Let it rest: Letting the sauce sit for a few hours or overnight can help to meld the flavors together and make it taste even better.

Is spaghetti healthy meal?

Spaghetti can be a healthy meal if it’s made with nutritious ingredients and prepared in a healthy way. Here are some tips for making spaghetti a healthy meal:
1. Choose whole wheat or other whole grain pasta: Whole wheat pasta is higher in fiber and nutrients than white pasta.
2. Add vegetables: Add vegetables like spinach, broccoli, or peppers to your spaghetti sauce to increase the nutrient density of the meal.
3. Use lean protein: Use lean protein like grilled chicken or shrimp instead of ground beef to keep the dish lower in saturated fat.
4. Use a tomato-based sauce: A tomato-based sauce is generally lower in calories and fat than a cream-based sauce.
5. Watch your portion size: A healthy serving size of spaghetti is about 1 cup, which is about the size of a baseball.
6. Limit added salt and sugar: Be mindful of the amount of salt and sugar you add to your spaghetti sauce to keep the meal healthy.

Is spaghetti better than rice?

Comparing spaghetti to rice is difficult as they are different types of carbohydrates and have different nutritional profiles.
Spaghetti is a type of pasta made from wheat flour and water, and it is typically higher in calories and carbohydrates than rice. It also tends to have a lower glycemic index, which means it may not cause as large of a spike in blood sugar levels compared to rice.
Rice, on the other hand, is a grain that comes in many different varieties such as white, brown, and wild rice. Brown rice is considered to be the healthiest option as it is higher in fiber and nutrients than white rice. It is also a good source of carbohydrates and provides energy for the body.
Both spaghetti and rice can be part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation and prepared in a healthy way. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and dietary needs.

Storing and Reheating Spaghetti al Arrabiata

This pasta keeps well for about 4 days in the refrigerator. If you want to store longer, freeze it in an airtight container. Thaw it overnight in the fridge before you reheat it.

To reheat, sprinkle a few spoons of hot water and heat in the microwave.

Craving creamy pasta, but worried about high calories and expanding waistline? Try these no-guilt pasta recipes like zucchini mushroom pastacreamy vegetable pasta with vegan garlic sauce or creamy veggie chicken pasta salad.

Or if you’re more of a PESTO lover, try:

Spaghetti arrabiata on a white plate with a fork.

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Arrabiata Recipe

Spaghetti arrabiata is a tomato-based pasta recipe made with basic ingredients like garlic, chilli flakes and basil. Find out the secret of easily making your own tomato paste that adds a depth of flavor to the spicy spaghetti sauce.
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 274 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 200-250 grams spaghetti (7-8.8 ounces)
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves

Instructions
 

Cook spaghetti

  • Boil 8 cups of water with 1 tablespoon salt in a deep pot. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add pasta.
  • Keep stirring the pasta every few minutes so they don’t clump together. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain using a colander.
  • Put the pasta back into the pot and toss it with olive oil. Keep the pasta covered for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Tomato paste: spaghetti sauce secret ingredient

  • Chop and puree 2 tomatoes and place in a large microwave-safe bowl.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon each of salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli flakes. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil and mix everything together.
  • Microwave (in the open bowl) on high power for 10 minutes. Take out the bowl and stir. Microwave again for 5 minutes.
  • Check the consistency. If the tomato paste is not thick enough, stir and microwave for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Make spicy spaghetti sauce

  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a sauté pan. Add minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Finely chop the remaining 2 tomatoes. Add them to the pan and sauté on high flame for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook until the tomatoes are mushy and cooked through.
  • Add the tomato paste. Stir in chilli flakes, salt, and dried basil. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until it reaches a saucy consistency.
  • Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and toss.
    Sprinkle grated cheese and garnish with julienned fresh basil leaves.

Video

Notes

  • Pasta cooking time: depends on the type of pasta used. Always cook 2 minutes less than the time specified on the package.
  • Al dente pasta: It means that the pasta is cooked tender enough to chew, but has a bite to it. The best way to test is to literally bite into a strand of spaghetti!
  • Tomato paste: Use a microwave-safe bowl that is large enough. The tomato puree should fill up only half the bowl. 
  • Parmigiano Reggiano is more flavorful than parmesan. If you don’t have it, feel free to use parmesan.
  • Always buy blocks of cheese and grate them whenever required.
  • Basil: I’ve used both fresh and dried ones. If you don’t have fresh basil, use more of the dried one.
  • In addition to basil, you can also use parsley, either fresh or dried.
 
nutrition facts for spaghetti arrabiata.

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Author profile photo

Hi! I’m Sheeba, welcome to Go Healthy ever after!

I have a passion for cooking delicious nourishing food that’s easy to cook with fresh natural ingredients free from additives or preservatives. The easy healthy recipes you find here will inspire you to cook with creativity.

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