Hearty Dinners/ Pasta/ Pork/ Spice

Penne Arrabiata with Smoked Sausage

April 18, 2019

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.

Overhead shot of Arrabiata with Penne and Smoked Sausage in a saucepan garnished with parmesan, chilli flakes and parsley

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
  • Garlic
  • Chilli Flakes
  • Smoked Sausage
  • Parmesan
  • Parsley
  • Sugar

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 - 6 step by step photos

How to make Penne Arrabiata

  1. Fry your sausage in olive oil until brown both sides.
  2. Push to the edges of the pan and add your garlic and chilli flakes.
  3. Stir in your tomato puree, then add pasta water.
  4. Add the remainder of your sauce ingredients and simmer to thicken.
  5. Add penne.
  6. 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.

Spicy Arrabiata Penne with Smoked Sausage in a saucepan wit extra chilli flakes on top

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 Arrabiata with Smoked Sausage served in a white bowl with two fork on a wooden background

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How to make Penne Arrabiata with Smoked Sausage (Full Recipe & Video)

Overhead shot of Arrabiata with Penne and Smoked Sausage in a saucepan garnished with parmesan, chilli flakes and parsley

Penne Arrabiata with Smoked Sausage

You really can't beat a Classic Arrabiata Sauce. Served with Penne and Smoked Sausage, this truly is the perfect mid week family dinner!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 429

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

a) Smoked Sausage - You can leave this out and it will still be delicious. With the same token if you're looking to use a different meat then grilled chicken works perfectly in this recipe.
 
b) Garlic - If you're struggling to get thin slices then feel free to mince/finely dice it. I just find that thin slices infuse the oil a bit better.
 
c) Chilli Flakes - I find 1 tsp adds a nice kick to the sauce without being too overpowering. If you're at all weary then start off with 1/2 tsp and add more in later. 
 
d) Calories - Based on using 1/4 tsp sugar and no extra parmesan to serve.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Penne Arrabiata with Smoked Sausage
Amount Per Serving
Calories 429 Calories from Fat 235
% Daily Value*
Fat 26.07g40%
Saturated Fat 7.486g37%
Trans Fat 0.066g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.418g
Monounsaturated Fat 13.546g
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 851mg35%
Potassium 770mg22%
Carbohydrates 31.88g11%
Fiber 3.7g15%
Sugar 1.33g1%
Protein 18.48g37%
Vitamin A 750IU15%
Vitamin C 24.8mg30%
Calcium 110mg11%
Iron 3.2mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

Looking for more delicious and easy pasta recipes? Check out my Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato!

Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sundried Tomato

If you loved this Penne Arrabiata recipe then be sure to Pin this recipe for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Rosa
    April 22, 2019 at 1:23 pm


    Mmm this dish sounds so comforting! I love a meal with a little kick.

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 22, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks Rosa! 🙂

  • Reply
    Demeter
    April 22, 2019 at 1:20 pm


    This sounds so flavorful! Pasta is such a family favorite that this is a great way to change it up.

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 22, 2019 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks Demeter 🙂

  • Reply
    kim
    April 22, 2019 at 1:19 pm


    So irresistible! This is a new family favorite meal!

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 22, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      Definitely family approved!

  • Reply
    Nicolas Hortense
    April 22, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Mmmm yum that looks so dang tasty!! Love how you added the smoked sausage (:

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 22, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      It compliments this dish so well 🙂

  • Reply
    Danielle Wolter
    April 22, 2019 at 11:34 am


    Arrabiata sauce really is so wonderful. It has the perfect amount of heat and I’m loving the smoked sausage used here. What an incredible recipe!

    • Reply
      Chris
      April 22, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks so much Danielle 🙂

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