Worknight Dinner Recipe: Penne All’Arrabbiata

Cooking for a Crowd, Recipes, Worknight Dinners
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Penne All'Arrabbiata

Sometimes life calls for celebration. In America, we tend to use food and beverage as a means for celebration.

I can’t think of the last time I attended a birthday party, graduation, anniversary or holiday get-together that didn’t involve consuming a larger-than-normal amount of baked brie or white sangria.

Amidst so much celebrating and indulging sometimes we yearn for simplicity.

When our weekends are packed with brunches and happy hours, chocolate cake and chips and guacamole, weeknights call for healthy, simple dinners.

Most of us know that pasta is answer to the quick, nutritious meal, especially if you prepare whole wheat pasta, some of which provide some of your daily fiber requirement and even omega-3s

What a lot of people don’t know is that you can make your own savory sauce in nearly the same amount of time it takes you to unscrew the top of a jar and pour it into a microwave-safe bowl. Unlike heavy cream sauces, tomato based sauces contain fiber and antioxidants without adding calories.

Arrabbiata literally translates to mean “angry” in Italian but despite it’s name, is quite pleasant to make and to eat. It only takes 15-20 minutes to simmer, unlike most sauces that take upwards of an hour.

Palates beware: arrabbiata sauce is defined by the addition of crushed red pepper or pureed hot peppers – so if you like a sauce with a bit of a kick, this is a good one to try.

Penne All'Arrabbiata

Penne All'Arrabbiata
Recipe type: Worknight Dinners, Cooking for a Crowd
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
  • 4 cups cooked penne pasta
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in wine, sugar, basil, red pepper, tomato paste, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, black pepper and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in parsley. Ladle over the hot cooked penne pasta.


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  • Reply
    Susan Dunn
    September 8, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Hmmmm This looks great Maris. I am making it this weekend! Your site is a pleasure to read.
    I can’t wait to see the next recipe.

  • Reply
    Monica Shaw
    September 3, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I love Penne All’Arrabbiata… it’s a great comfort food and one I turn to at least once a month. I love Love LOVE this sauce with some diced eggplant in it. Give it a try if you’re a fan of those purple guys. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    This looks easy & delicious!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    This sound so fantastic to me right now! Of course that’s probaby b/c I’m eating a kitkat and a diet coke for a late lunch. Sigh.

  • Reply
    Half Assed Kitchen
    August 26, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Mmmmm. Much better than a jarred sauce.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I’m long past 20 something, but I’m always looking for healthy, quick, after work dinners & this one looks easy & delicious!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2009 at 2:50 am

    Gorgeous pasta sauce. And you are too right: a wonderful, delicious meal like this can be prepared in a snap. I love this sauce!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Guilty…I love cream sauces, especially alfredo:) Yum!
    This sounds good. What brand of red wine do you use? I’ve had bad luck with cooking wines:(

  • Reply
    August 25, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Looks great! I love a spicy sauce!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2009 at 2:13 am

    this sauce looks so good! love the photos!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    I love homemade sauces.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    My Favorite red sauce.
    Its so amazing how easy red sauces are to make. Once you start, how can you ever go back to canned?

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I love spicy pasta sauce! sadly, I am guilty of usually just mixing chili flakes into the jar sauce, but of course this is definitely the better and tastier way to go! and more precise. I have often added a bit too much “kick” to my sauce!

  • Reply
    lisa (dandysugar)
    August 24, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Delicious. I love pasta dishes like this during the week. Always trying to think up more sauce ideas, so this is a great one to keep on hand!

  • Reply
    Debbie Davis
    August 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Yum, my husband loves spicy sauces – I do, too, as long as they aren’t too hot! Will have to try this one.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Looks delicious! I love spicy tomato sauce and have recently started making my own red sauce (most of the time anyway). This is one to add to my repertoire.

  • Reply
    Lori @ RecipeGirl
    August 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    My kinda pasta dish!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I could never imagine a world without pasta, especially when it comes to dishes like these.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 11:37 am

    arrabbiata is my favorite type of red sauce–what can i say, i like to set my mouth on fire. lovely dish, maris. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 10:58 am

    a classic. haven’t made this one in a while, thanks for the reminder.

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I am always up for a good pasta dish! Looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Classic dish!! Love it.

  • Reply
    Cate O'Malley
    August 24, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Homemade sauce blows the jarred kind out of the water … mmmm, yum!

  • Reply
    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
    August 24, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Great way to use some of the fresh basil that’s taking over my garden this week!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Perfection! This is my kind of meal…and bring on the heat! Your blog is looking great!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Looks simple and delicious. Even I may try!

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