Penne Arrabiata


Preparation info

  • Serves

    4 to 6

    Appears in

    Modern Mediterranean

    Modern Mediterranean

    By Melia Marden

    Published 2013

    • About

    This simple pasta is definitely in my top five foods of all time. It’s incredibly easy to make, with very few ingredients, but the magic of cooking transforms it into something irresistible—tangy, sweet, and mildly spicy. The most important thing is to cook the tomatoes long enough that they reduce into the thick, pulpy sauce you need to really coat the penne.


    • Kosher salt
    • 1 pound (455 grams) penne rigate
    • ¼ cup (60 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pasta
    • 3 ½ pounds (1.6 kilograms) ripe vine tomatoes (about 8)
    • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
    • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
    • ½ teaspoon sugar
    • 4 fresh basil leaves


    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne rigate and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with a little olive oil.
    2. Roughly chop the tomatoes, seeds included, into 1-inch (2.5-centimeter) pieces.
    3. In a large pot, heat the ¼ cup (60 milliliters) oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, garlic, chili flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pulpy and very reduced, about 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if desired.
    4. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until it is warmed through and completely coated with the sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl.
    5. Tear the basil into ½-inch (12-millimeter) pieces and sprinkle over the pasta. Serve immediately.