Ultimate arrabiata

Ultimate arrabiata

I’ll probably be hunted down by any Italian cook who values tradition, but this pasta sauce  is one of the recipes that I’ve tinkered with over the years and is the one that serves me best.  It might shy away from its roots with some influences around the world but the added ingredients make it even more meaty and bold – kind of the Al Pacino of Italian food!  The amount of pancetta is an approximation (I find my supermarkets sell it in packs of 70g or 77g rather strangely so it’s 150g or thereabouts!)  I also tend to use less pasta than most recipes, because I like my pasta to be really saucy; it gives me the excuse to clean my bowl with some warm bread!

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  • 2 tablespoon of garlic oil
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 5 ounces / 150g pancetta, diced
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 14 ounces / 400g pasta
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
  • A handful of basil
  • Parmesan to serve


Pre heat the oven to 200c (180c fan)

Core and deseed the pepper before cutting into fine slices.  Place on a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and mix to coat.  Place in the oven for 15 minutes.

Get your pasta underway, according to packet instructions.

Heat the remaining oil in a large non-stick pan on medium and toss in the pancetta.  Fry for a few minutes until the pancetta is beginning to crisp and then add the garlic.  Cook for a further minute.

Add the tomatoes, chilli flakes, sugar and seasoning to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.  The sauce should thicken.

Add your drained, cooked pasta to the sauce along with the oven cooked peppers and the parsley and stir so that everything is coated in sauce.

Tear over the basil and serve with parmesan.


Arrabiata is a sauce that can be used with any type of pasta.


The Italian word all’arrabiata means “in an angry style” and the precise name for your dish will be the name of the pasta type followed by the name of the sauce, as in penne all’arrabiata or spaghetti all’arrabiata. The ‘anger’ is of course a reference to the chilli.

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The Naughty Cook is a digital cookery magazine packed with both healthy and indulgent recipes and is owned by Senlac Hill Publishing, UK.

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