Spaghetti arrabiata is a tomato-based pasta 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 this spicy spaghetti.
Why You’ll Love This Spicy Spaghetti
A quick and easy weeknight dinner recipe is always a dream come true. With just 6 main ingredients, this 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 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.
The 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 it:
(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)
- Tomatoes: This is the most important ingredient of the dish. 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.
How To Make Spaghetti Arrabiata: Step by step
- Boil water with 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 with olive oil.
- Keep the pasta covered for about 5 to 10 minutes. This prevents the pasta from drying out.
Make Tomato Paste
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 Arrabiata Sauce
- Heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
Toss and Garnish
Add the sauce to cooked pasta and toss.
Sprinkle grated cheese and garnish with julienned fresh basil leaves.
- 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 🙁 )
- 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.
Storing and Reheating
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.
What to Pair with Spaghetti Arrabbiata
Arrabiata spaghetti tastes great with any protein. Some delicious options would be:
More Pasta Recipes
Craving creamy pasta, but worried about high calories and expanding waistline? Try these no-guilt pasta recipes like zucchini mushroom pasta, creamy vegetable pasta with vegan garlic sauce or creamy veggie chicken pasta salad.
Or if you’re more of a PESTO lover, try:
- spinach almond pesto with basil
- roasted garlic pesto with mint and cashews
- spicy red chili pesto
- or Thai basil pesto for a spicy Asian twist.
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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.