You really can’t beat a Classic Arrabiata Sauce. Served with Penne and Smoked Sausage, this truly is the perfect mid week family dinner!
Arrabiata (or Arrabbiata) is one of my all time favourite pasta dishes. For me, there is no greater combo than tomato, spice and pasta and an Arrabiata sauce embodies just that.
Classic Arrabiata Sauce
A traditional arrabiata sauce is made up of a few, but good quality ingredients. The stars of the show are garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and of course chilli. ‘Arrabbiata’ means ‘angry’ in Italian, hence the chillis.
Whilst the combo of garlic, olive oil tomatoes and chilli is divine, I’ve added a few other tasty extras to really bring this dish to life.
Arrabiata Sauce Ingredients
- Tomato Puree
- Chopped Tomatoes
- Olive Oil
- Chilli Flakes
- Smoked Sausage
I add tomato puree (tomato paste in the US) for a really deep tomatoey flavour. The smoked sausage really bulks out the dish and offers a gorgeous smokey spicey combo. I use parsley because I like how subtle it is and doesn’t over powder what is a very simple dish. I also add a pinch of sugar to balance out the spice and any acidity left in the tomatoes. Finally parmesan, because parmesan.
How to make Penne Arrabiata
- Fry your sausage in olive oil until brown both sides.
- Push to the edges of the pan and add your garlic and chilli flakes.
- Stir in your tomato puree, then add pasta water.
- Add the remainder of your sauce ingredients and simmer to thicken.
- Add penne.
- Stir through parmesan and parsley.
There’s two really important steps to quickly discuss here.
The first is frying the tomato puree. Tomato puree is actually quite acidic straight out the can, by frying it you actually sweeten it. It completely changes the flavour and really brings out the most in the puree.
The second crucial step is adding starchy pasta water.
This not only helps to deglaze the pan after you fry the tomato puree, but it creates an emulsion with the olive oil to create the base of your sauce. By doing this it prevents the pasta from being oily, and instead creates a silky sauce with all that gorgeous flavour from the olive oil.
Do I have to use Penne?
Penne Arrabiata is the traditional way, but realistically you can use any pasta you’d like, so long as you reserve some starchy pasta water and only cook until al dente.
Do I have to add Smoked Sausage?
Nope! Traditional penne arrabiata actually doesn’t contain meat. With the same token if you’d like to use a different meat then grilled chicken works perfectly in this dish.
How much Chilli do I add?
Now this is completely down to preference. I find 1 tsp dried chilli flakes gives a nice kick, without being too overpowering. If you’re weary then I’d start with 1/2 tsp and adjust at the end. Better to have too little than too much!
Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other easy weeknight family pasta dishes?
- Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Sausage Pasta in a Mascarpone Sun Dried Tomato Sauce
- Meatball Pasta Bake
- Vegetable Pasta Bake
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How to make Penne Arrabiata with Smoked Sausage (Full Recipe & Video)
Penne Arrabiata with Smoked Sausage
Ingredients (check list):
- 12.3oz / 350g Penne
- 7oz / 200g Smoked Sausage
- 2x 14oz / 400g good quality Chopped Tomatoes
- 1oz / 30g Parmesan, finely grated
- 3 fat cloves of Garlic, very thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in the US)
- 2.5 tbsp good quality Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp finely diced Fresh Parsley
- 1 tsp Chilli Flakes, or to taste
- good pinch of Sugar
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Drizzle your olive oil into a pan over medium heat. Once hot, add your sausage & fry for a few minutes each side until brown.
- Push to the edges of the pan then add your garlic & chilli flakes into the centre. Fry for a couple of minutes until the garlic begins to brown. Meanwhile pop your pasta in salted boiling water and cook until al dente, reserving 1/2 cup / 125ml starchy pasta water.
- Once your garlic becomes fragrant, add your tomato puree, then stir in starchy pasta water. Add your tomatoes then season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. Allow to simmer for a good 10mins, or until it slightly thickens.
- Add your pasta then stir through your parmesan and parsley. Serve with extra parmesan and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
Looking for more delicious and easy pasta recipes? Check out my Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato!