Penne all Arrabbiata

Penne all Arrabbiata

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

One of the best-known pasta dishes in Italy. An easy yet tasty fare made with simple ingredients. One of those great recipes when you get home after a hard day’s work and need something quick and uplifting. I serve it with a nice crusty country bread and a glass of wine. All’arrabbiata means “fiery style”, named as such due to the heat of the peppers.

Much better than the ubiquitous Italo-American “Maccaroni and Cheese” or “Maccaroni and Meatballs”, recipes known in Italy only from watching “The Sopranos” and therefore nowadays served to American tourists in restaurants where the menu is printed in English on plastic covered menus.


  • 1 lb (450 g) Penne
  • 1 lb (450 g) very ripe fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 small chili peppers, diced
  • 1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 oz (115 g) Pancetta or bacon rashers cut into slivers (leave out for vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 cup (15 g) fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Bring water to a boil for cooking the Penne. Add salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. The water should be lightly salted.

In a saucepan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta slivers and onions. Sauté over low heat for about 10 minutes or until onions are glazed. Add garlic, chili peppers, and diced tomatoes. Taste for salt and pepper. Leave sauce simmering over low heat for another 15-20 minutes.

Cook Penne according to package instructions. Drain penne in a colander. Return it to the cooking pot. Add tomato sauce and mix it gently into the pasta. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve it with Parmesan.


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