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Simple Arrabbiata Sauce

Simple Arrabbiata Sauce – This is the EASIEST pasta sauce recipe I know. I almost always have everything in my pantry, and it can be done in minutes. Perfect for nights when time or the budget is tight, or you don’t have anything in the house!

This Simple Arrabbiata Sauce is such an easy dinner idea! You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now!

Every so often, I get stuck in the kitchen. Maybe we’ve been sick for a few days and REEEEALLY need to get to the grocery store, or we’ve been traveling, or our other dinner plan fell through, or the grocery budget is almost spent. On those nights, this recipe is the one that saves me. Arrabbiata sauce is a simple, slightly (or not so slightly) spicy tomato sauce made from pantry staples I pretty much always have on hand. The beauty is that there’s so much flavor going on that it doesn’t feel like an afterthought or budget saver.

Easy Arrabbiata Sauce - So much flavor from so few ingredients. This one is just spicy enough. We love it!

Instead, I coax as much flavor as possible out of the short ingredient list–canned tomatoes, chili flakes, garlic, oregano, salt, and oil. Then, everything gets a quick blitz (either in the blender or right in the saucepan with an immersion blender) and it’s done before the pasta is cooked.

When my kids are eating it, I keep the spice level fairly low for them, but you can make this as spicy as you like. Do know that once the sauce is heated, the heat will wake up the capsaicin (chili oil) in the chili flakes, so the spice level will go up.

This Pasta Arrabbiata is a great budget friendly recipe. You might have everything on hand already!

Notes on the Recipe:

Tomayto-Tomahto. I’ve made this with regular canned tomatoes and with fire-roasted. Honestly, my preference is fire-roasted since they add another slightly smoky flavor to the sauce, but I also really love and enjoy it with regular canned tomatoes. There really isn’t a wrong answer there. I will say that I’ve tried making this with canned tomato sauce (instead of pureeing the tomatoes myself) and for some reason the flavor is a bit more tinny and metallic. I prefer using diced tomatoes and pureeing it myself.

Is this too spicy? Well, the heat level is entirely in your hands. Since we’re eating with little ones, I almost always keep it fairly mild, but if I know they’re going to have olive oil and salt instead of sauce, I love turning the heat up to medium. I don’t like anything TOO hot, so my recommendation is always to start small and add from there.

What if I made it too spicy? If you added more than you bargained for,  you can counteract the spice level with a bit of sweetness (a pinch of sugar, honey, or pure maple syrup) or try a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Or, you can add a little more water or more tomatoes to dilute it.

Arrabbiata Sauce - The perfect, just-spicy-enough pasta sauce for dinner. We love this one!

Like this recipe? You might also like…

Recommended for this recipe: fire-roasted tomatoes // red chili flakes // white saucepan with wood handle // immersion blender

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This Simple Arrabbiata Sauce is such an easy dinner idea! You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now!

Simple Arrabbiata Sauce


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Yield: About 3 1/2 cups 1x

Description

If you’re cooking for kids or are sensitive to spices, start small (1/4 tsp) with the chili flakes. If you like things spicier, feel free to keep adding till it gets where you like it! I usually prefer it best between 1/2-3/4 tsp red pepper flakes.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (28oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 23 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or chili oil
  • 1/41 tsp red chili flakes (sometimes called crushed red pepper)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • Optional: fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Place tomatoes, garlic, oil, 1/4 tsp chili flakes, salt, and oregano in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Or, place omatoes, garlic, oil, 1/4 tsp chili flakes, salt, and oregano in a saucepan and puree using an immersion blender.
  3. When sauce is smooth, bring to a simmer over medium heat until heated through and fragrant. Taste and add more chili flakes, as desired. If desired, add some minced fresh basil for garnish and little extra flavor before serving.

Simple Arrabbiata Sauce - This is the EASIEST pasta sauce recipe I know. I almost always have everything in my pantry, and it can be done in minutes.

4 Comments

  1. Hi, Emily
    This looks easy and delicious – I’ll be trying it!
    I noticed that the recipe says 1 (28 ounce) cans.
    I’m wondering, is it really one can, or do you use more?
    Thanks!

  2. I hate canned tomatoes (like you, I taste the ‘tinny’ too) Any idea of what weight of tomatoes to use? Do you skin the tomatoes when you make from fresh?

    1. Sue – I hear you! I dislike the canned tomato sauce. I use 28oz of canned fire-roasted tomatoes for this recipe. I haven’t made it from fresh, but I imagine if you use a similar weight, you’ll end up with the right amount!

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