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Angry Penne (Penne Arrabbiata)

Like so many Italian dishes this one doesn’t have a lot of ingredients or a series of complex cooking methods. However, angry penne is a tried and true recipe that manages to throw some excitement into daily life. The “angry” part of angry pasta (AKA penne arrabbiata) recipe comes from the crushed red pepper flakes in the mix.

We’ve given specific amounts in the recipe below, but the truth is that you can make this dish exactly as spicy (or not) as you want. So feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking.

To add some flavor you start by cooking onions with red pepper flakes in oil. This brings out the flavor of the spices, creating a sort of mild chili oil in the bottom of the pan.

To that you add some diced tomatoes. You can use sauce instead for a smoother texture, or do a mix of each for the best of both worlds.

Then all you have to do is to toss the pasta in with the sauce and then you’re almost done. This recipe is kind of like puttanesca in its simplicity and is just as versatile. You can add meat or olives or other “goodies” to this recipe for a more complex meal.

Angry Penne (Penne Arrabbiata)

Traditionally you’d either sprinkle some parsley or some Pecorino Romano on top, but I like to do both. And, if you’ve added maybe a bit too much red pepper then you can load up on the cheese to balance things out a bit.

Angry Penne (Penne Arrabbiata)

This is a simple recipe that anyone can master and yet it tastes so good it’s hard not to have a smile on your face with every bite. It’s truly a classic recipe and is perfect for those times when you don’t have a lot in the fridge to cook with.

Serves 6

15m prep time

27m cook time

406 calories

Allergens: Wheat, Milk, Gluten

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 (14 oz) can tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Pecorino Romano for topping
  1. Prepare pasta to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water when draining.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in large skillet or medium stockpot. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes to onions. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes. If sauce seems too thick add 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water and stir well.
  4. Add drained pasta to sauce and toss to fully combine. Garnish each serving with Pecorino Romano and parsley.

Recipe adapted from Memorie di Angelina.

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