spaghetti alla arrabiata

Long Pasta NoodlesI made this a couple weeks back. It was fantastic. It’s very, very good despite the fact that there is no meat in it. Arrabbiata sauce is a spicy tomato sauce–it’s probably my favorite no-meat red sauce. I’m sure mine wouldn’t count as a “true” arrabiata if you ask an Italian, but it’s still very tasty.

I will make this one night, and then eat it for lunch the next 2 or 3 days. This stuff is great reheated; the flavors seem to be mixed together even better!


  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 lemon, juiced (I usually wait until I need the juice and squeeze it out over the sauce. Tip: Roll the l emon around a little on a cutting board before you slice it in half. Then use one hand for squeezing and th e other hand as a ‘strainer’ to catch seeds.)
  • 1 medium onion, diced into pieces around 1/4 inch in size
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (I use the pre-minced stuff in a jar. This is about 4 cloves worth)
  • 1/2 c red wine (I use Chianti. Specifically, I really like Ruffino [cheap] and Castiglioni [a little pricier]. You can probably find both at most wine stor es.)
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil (pure or extra virgin, pure is better for heat, EV has more flavor but breaks down in hi gh heat)


I’m guessing here, I usually put in enough for it to “look right”. Also, I use dried spices–they seem to w ork just fine here

  • 3 tsp basil
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp crushed red pepper (less if you want, I like mine a little spicier)
  • salt & pepper to taste (freshly ground black pepper really is better)


  • Big pot to boil spaghetti
  • Skillet/Sauté Pan (I use stainless steel, but cast iron or non-stick will work too)

Step 1:

I cook the spaghetti to ‘al dente’, drain it and put it back in the big pot you cooked it in–make sure the pot is off the heat or your pasta will become… angry… I’ve found that the package instructions are usu ally close. You don’t want cook it much more because the pasta will be hitting the heat again later. I usua lly stir 2-3 tbsp of the extra virgin Olive Oil into the spaghetti to keep it from getting really sticky.

Step 2:

Heat about 2 tbsp of the Olive Oil in the skillet–this is the part where I use “pure” Olive Oil. When it’s nice and hot, add the onions and the garlic. Sauté them until they’re smelling great and looking a bit browned. (No more than 5 minutes!)

Step 3:

Throw all the other stuff in the pan (except the spaghetti), and bring it to a simmer (not quite boiling, b ut an occasional bubble is OK). Cook it for about 15-20 minutes to give the flavors plenty of time to get to know each other.

Step 4:

Dump the sauce into pot holding the pasta and mix it up! I do this because it seems to coat the spaghetti b etter.

That’s it! Enjoy!

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