Exceedingly simple in concept and execution, arrabbiata sauce is tomato sauce with the distinction of being spicy enough to earn its "angry" moniker. Here's how to make it, from start to finish.
Why It WorksThe pasta that bites you back. Read the Whole Story
- Finishing the pasta in the sauce coats every piece perfectly.
- Adding pasta water to the sauce helps emulsify it.
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound (450g) penne pasta
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as desired
- 1 medium clove garlic, crushed
- As much crushed red pepper as you dare (see note above)
- 1 (15-ounce; 400g) can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand (see note above)
- 2 ounces (60g) finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Small handful minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook penne until just short of al dente, about 1 minute less than the package recommends.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until garlic is very lightly golden, about 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep it gently sizzling.)
Add tomatoes, stir to combine, and bring to a bare simmer. When pasta is ready, transfer it to sauce using a strainer or slotted spoon. (Alternatively, drain pasta through a colander, reserving 1 cup of cooking water. Add drained pasta to sauce.)
Add about 1/4 cup pasta water to sauce and increase heat to bring pasta and sauce to a vigorous simmer. Cook, stirring and shaking the pan and adding more pasta water as necessary to keep sauce loose, until pasta is perfectly al dente, 1 to 2 minutes longer. (The pasta will cook more slowly in the sauce than it did in the water.)
Continue cooking pasta until sauce thickens and begins to coat noodles, then remove from heat and toss in cheese and parsley, stirring vigorously to incorporate. Stir in a drizzle of fresh olive oil, if desired. Season with salt and serve right away, passing more cheese at the table.