Spicy Tomato Sauce

Penne All’arrabbiata


  • 200 g penne
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried chilli flakes
  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, puréed (seeds and all)
  • 10 basil leaves, torn


Fry the garlic in the olive oil for a few moments until cooked, but not yet coloured. Add the chilli flakes followed by the tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt. Boil fairly briskly until the sauce has a little body (you will see the bubbles get a bit bigger) but is by no measure thick. The tomatoes should taste fresh, but no longer raw. Season with more salt to taste, remove from the heat and stir in the basil.

Boil the penne until marginally undercooked. Drain, transfer to a frying pan and add 300ml of the spicy tomato sauce along with a splash of the cooking water. Cook together until the sauce coats. Best served without cheese in my opinion, rather a drizzle of oil. Some would disagree (they should use Pecorino Romano, but given their dubious taste are probably sprinkling Parmesan).