by | Jul 12, 2022

Pasta Arrabiata

My Dad used to buy containers of Arrabiata sauce from the supermarket when he lived alone for the first time in decades. I don't remember it being wildly delicious but luckily I decided to make a homemade version, which was astonishingly good. This recipe has only a few simple ingredients, but is rich, spicy and the perfect antidote to a cold winter night.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 people


  • 1/3 Cup Olive oil
  • 12 Cloves Garlic Peeled and left whole
  • 4 Whole tomatoes chopped into 1cm chunks
  • 1 Tin Plum Tomatoes
  • 1/3 Cup Red Wine
  • 2 Tsp Fennel Seeds chopped very roughly with a knife
  • 1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
  • 1 Packet spaghetti (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley roughly chopped


  • Put a medium-large saucepan of water on the stove, cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
  • Put a large frying pan on medium heat and add your olive oil. Add the whole garlic cloves to the oil and cook, turning often for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and cook for a further 5 minutes. You're looking to get a light golden brown colour. Grab a potato masher and squish the garlic until it's in big chunks.
  • Add your fresh chopped tomatoes and turn up the heat to medium/high, give them an occasional stir. Let the tomatoes sing and bubble for 5 minutes until they've started to break down.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, red wine, and fennel seeds, give it another squish with the masher to break up the plum tomatoes, stir and wait until the sauce begin to bubble. Once it's bubbling, turn the heat down to medium and stir occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, add your pasta to the pan of boiling water and set a timer for 3 minutes less than the cooking instructions on the packet.
  • When the timer goes off, scoop 1/2 cup of pasta water and add to the pasta sauce. Strain the pasta and add to the sauce, giving it all a gentle stir to combine.
  • Cook for 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add the parsley and stir through the past and sauce. Taste the sauce and season with salt. Serve in bowls and enjoy with a nice glass of red wine.


  • Don't scrimp on the garlic or oil, use the full amount!
  • This is a great recipe to batch cook, you can make the sauce and freeze it in batches. Then all you need to do for a quick dinner is cook some pasta and reheat the sauce.
  • If you don't have plum tomatoes, you can use chopped tin tomatoes instead. Or if you prefer to use all fresh, just use 8 fresh tomatoes.


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