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Spaghetti arrabbiata in a white bowl garnished with fresh basil with a white marble background.

Spicy Homemade Spaghetti Arrabbiata

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  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Turn up the heat on pasta night with this spicy spaghetti arrabbiata! Red pepper flakes and loads of garlic transform a fresh marinara sauce into a robust and "angry" tomato sauce that is bursting with flavor. Ready in under 30 minutes!


Units Scale

  • 8 ounces gluten-free spaghetti pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and diced
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and smashed (10 large cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 24 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • Optional: fresh basil, vegan parmesan cheese and/or vegan heavy cream


  1. Prepare the pasta. Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.
  2. Sauté the shallot and garlic. While the pasta cooks, add olive oil, diced shallots, smashed garlic cloves, salt and seasonings to a large pan and sauté for 5-10 minutes over low to medium heat. Make sure you keep the heat low enough so that the shallot and garlic do not burn. It is important to cook the garlic long enough so it mellows out.
  3. Burst the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes and sauté until they burst (another 5-10 minutes). Then add the tomato paste and maple syrup.
  4. Blend. Transfer everything from the sauté pan to a blender and blend until no tomato seeds are visible. You can choose to pulse a few times to keep it chunky or purée into a smooth sauce.
  5. Serve. Pour the sauce overtop the pasta and garnish with fresh basil, vegan parmesan cheese and/or a drizzle of vegan heavy cream, if desired.


Control the spice. The beauty of homemade arrabbiata is that you have full control over the spiciness. Add more red pepper chili flakes and garlic to turn up the heat further, or use less of each to scale it back.

Simmer on low heat to thicken the sauce. After blending, you can thicken the sauce and intensify the flavor even further by putting it back on the stove in a nonstick pan and simmering on low heat for an hour (or longer). As it cooks down the sauce will concentrate in flavor and thicken up as the water from the tomatoes evaporates. This is by no means necessary but packs more flavor if you have extra time. This recipe makes 2-3 cups of sauce depending on how long you cook it.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian