No matter what Italian restaurant my family and I end up at, there is a 100% chance that at least one of us is ordering a penne arrabbiata. It is our true go-to. I guess it’s just a reliable dish we can always count on to give us the spice and flavor we can’t live without. Or maybe we just operate on an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality. Whatever the case, our situation when sitting down at an Italian restaurant typically involves all scanning the menu to see what else we can order so we don’t all end up with the same pasta dish (a true dining out tragedy).
There’s something very comforting about a really delicious tomato-based pasta, especially when it has a kick like this one. A traditional arrabbiata sauce typically consists of garlic, dried red chili flakes, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil. I kept all of these elements, while also sneaking in some spinach for #greens as well as some fresh basil.
This is probably one of the most simple, yet most flavorful dishes to whip up – whether you’re short on time or simply need to cook for some friends, this is a crowd pleasing dish that requires minimal effort but yields maximum taste!
I found all of the ingredients to make this dish on Thrive Market which, if you follow me on Instagram, is the only place I will shop for groceries online. I didn’t need too much at all, just a few key ingredients like olive oil, canned and crushed tomatoes, red chili flakes, dried basil, and pasta – of course! I chose a chickpea pasta but you can feel free to use any kind you like. I especially love brown rice, quinoa, or lentil pastas in addition to chickpea (also, all on Thrive if you’re looking for it and can’t find)! And a little note about Thrive — all of their products are 25-50% below retail (yes savings honey), and you can sort the ingredients by diet and preference which is super key when keeping all of your needs met! And my absolute favorite part about Thrive is that they donate a membership to a low-income family, teacher, veteran, or student every time someone signs up thorough the Thrive Gives program. For only $59.95/year (literally $5/month!!), you can get access to all of these discounted goodies AND get to help someone in need.
Maybe we will finally start ordering something else at an Italian restaurant and making this pasta arrabbiata at home…
If you make this recipe tag me on Instagram @DADAEATS and #DADAEATS so I can see your creations!!
- 1 box pasta (15 oz) – I used chickpea pasta your favorite pasta works great here!
- 1 30 oz can canned, crushed tomatoes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp dried basil flakes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- handful spinach
- flaky sea salt
Bring salted pasta water to boil. Cook pasta.
In a skillet, heat olive oil. Add chopped garlic cloves and saute until golden brown.
Add canned, crushed tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, then add chili flakes, dried basil, salt, and pepper. Season to taste.
Add fresh basil and simmer about 5 minutes. Finally, add spinach and cook until it wilts. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
Add drained pasta to sauce, reserving about 3 tbsp of the pasta water and adding it all into the sauce.
Stir until pasta is fully mixed in with the arrabbiata sauce. Garnish with more chili flakes, fresh basil, and flaky sea salt.