Basic arrabiata sauce

I made this up the other night. I have no idea whether it’s remotely like authentic arrabiata sauce, but it’s yummy and easy.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 2-3 tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 med yellow onion, diced
  • 1 28oz tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 14oz tin crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt, give or take – to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp decent balsamic vinegar


  1. Set a decent sized sauce pot on med-low heat and add oil. Toss in garlic and let warm up for a bit, then turn heat up to medium.
  2. Throw in red pepper flakes, shallot, and onion, and saute for 3-4 mins until the onions are translucent and getting soft.
  3. Turn heat up to med-high and add diced tomatoes, including all the juice from the tin. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 mins then add the crushed tomatoes. Add some salt and pepper, stir well, turn down to med-low or low, and let simmer for a while until it’s a nice saucy consistency and the tomatoes taste cooked.
  4. Stir in balsamic vinegar, simmer for a couple more minutes, and serve.

You might want to start with less than 2 tsp of hot pepper flakes and adjust the recipe to suit. We like some pretty spicy arrabiata, and tend to serve this with sliced chunks of hot italian sausage, red onion, and yellow peppers over fusilli. It’s also great with straight up spaghetti and meatballs.

Update: Rob thinks it could have used a hit of sugar (1/2 tsp or so). This is possibly true.


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