Penne all'Arrabbiata
Member recipe

Penne all'Arrabbiata

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(25 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 3

Angry penne - the spicy favourite of the Italian cuisine.

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  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 tsp dried basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 dried chilli peppers
  • 400g tin of cherry tomatoes in sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • handful of fresh basil
  • handful of grated parmesan cheese
  • pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 300g penne or other short pasta


    1. Heat 2 or 3 tbsp of olive oil in a tall pan, add the dried oregano and thyme, chopped garlic and crushed chilli peppers. Fry for few minutes. Don't let the garlic turn brown.
    2. Add the tin of cherry tomatoes into the pan. Simmer uncovered for about 8 minutes and let the excess water evaporate.
    3. Reduce the heat, cook for another few minutes, stirring occasionally and crushing the tomatoes into the sauce.
    4. Add pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Add both dried and fresh basil; 1 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Stir.
    5. In the meantime, cook the penne according to the packet instructions.
    6. Mix the pasta with sauce and garnish with fresh basil leaves and handful of grated parmesan cheese.

Comments, questions and tips

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Tom McShane's picture
Tom McShane
23rd Aug, 2019
This is a fairly good recipe, and the results are really tasty if you tweak the quantities. Do NOT use 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar; it's way too much, makes the sauce look very dark, and has a strong flavour too. I used 1 tsp - 0.5 tablespoons. I also dialled down the use of basil and oregano too - just 2 tsp of each rather than 3. This was plenty and not overwhelming, so that the tomato and spice definitely shone through. It is a good recipe with very tasty results, but I would recommend not following it precisely - use your instincts and taste, as I didn't like my first attempt.
13th May, 2019
This recipe has very little to do with the Italian dish! It never contains dried herbs, only parsley. Nor vinegar. The flavour comes from olives, capers and obviously a good dose of chilli pepper. Believe me, this is one of my favourite pasta dishes and I live in Rome, where this dish originated. Why not call it something else?
Tom Caton's picture
Tom Caton
16th Apr, 2019
Don't know what these people are talking about, this pasta is great! I used slightly less oregano, and fresh thyme because I couldn't find dried.
6th Jan, 2019
A total waste of money time and effort!!!
3rd Sep, 2018
I think this really is the worst pasta sauce I've ever made. I made it exactly to the recipe and the end result was awful. Dried herbs definitely don't go well with this recipe, and if they are used the quantities should be massively reduced. The sauce, instead of being 'angry' and spicy, was pungent, and the dried herbs made it difficult to eat, as it was so thick and cloying. My finished dish looked nothing like the photo above - it was almost black with the addition of so much balsamic vinegar. I'm not sure how the overall score for this dish is 4 stars out of 5, as most of those who liked the dish seem to have changed it to suit their own tastes out of all recognition to the original recipe. I would have given it no stars, but I'm sure the no star comments mustn't be taken into account in the overall star rating.
2nd Sep, 2018
Our family all like this one. I don't always remember the balsamic vinegar and only add a little when I do but we all enjoy this. For us it's become a midweek regular.
Michele Colombo's picture
Michele Colombo
23rd May, 2018
Probably one of the worst recipes for "Arrabbiata"! Being an Italian/American working and living in Italy for many years, all I can say is that the real recipe has ONLY the following ingredients: Extra virgin olive oil Garlic cloves (whole, NOT minced) Peeled tomatoes Chili peppers (to each his own) Salt Minced parsley Pecorino Romano cheese That's it!! Nothing else. If you want to change the ingredients, please give it another name.
Moorland Bell
11th May, 2017
Quantities of dried herbs are far too high, and yes vinegar is too high - unpleasant flavour, put less in to your taste and maybe add a bit of tomato puree and a touch of sugar.
1st Feb, 2017
FAR too much vinegar, surely means 2 teaspoons instead of tablespoons.
24th Aug, 2016
Virtually inedible. 2tbsp balsamic vinegar is way too much. Maybe this should be 2tsp?


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