Penne in Arrabbiata Sauce with Chicken Chunks

Don't get intimidated by the word Arrabbiata, it is an Italian word for "angry". Angry sauce? No, it refers to the hot and spicy version of the Italian tomato sauce. The main difference between a basic marinara sauce and arrabbiata sauce is the addition of chilli flakes! I am sharing how to make arrabbiata sauce from scratch with fresh tomatoes and use the sauce for chicken pasta. 
Penne in Arrabbiata Sauce with Chicken Chunks
My close friends and family know my love for pasta. I think I have already rambled about it enough. So like I had promised myself in this macaroni post, I am getting back to making Italian-inspired pasta.

How to make a pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes?

Most of the recipes call for canned tomatoes which I never had to buy because we always have fresh tomatoes around the year. This recipe uses fresh tomatoes that are cut into large pieces so that when the sauce cooks down, the tomato skin will come off easily. You can then fish out and discard the large skin pieces from the sauce. This will make your sauce much better texture-wise and will please the tomato-skin-hater at home. You may also choose to boil the whole tomatoes until soft and then remove the skin and puree the tomatoes before using them in the sauce. But I thought that's an extra step and will add to the dishes to wash :-) As we are using fresh tomatoes, you will need to give them time to cook down. A full hour of low heat cooking will give flavourful sauce so don't hasten the process. 

Penne in Arrabbiata Sauce with Chicken Chunks

Penne in Arrabbiata Sauce with Chicken Chunks

Yields: 2 to 3 servings


For Arrabiata Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • a splash of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 500gms fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • a handful of chopped parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of water
For Chicken Pasta:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 200gms boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • prepared arrabbiata sauce
  • 2 cups of penne pasta cooked al dente as per packet instruction
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of water
  • Shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese for topping


Prepare the tomato sauce:
  1. Heat olive oil in a deep sauce pot on low to medium flame
  2. Add the chopped onion, grated carrot, and a pinch of salt and cook until onions are very soft, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes
  3. Add the garlic into the onion mixture and saute until fragrant
  4. Add sugar, salt, vinegar, herbs, and the chilli flakes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes
  5. Stir in tomato paste and bring to a simmer
  6. Reduce the flame to low and stir in the quartered tomatoes and cover the pot
  7. Optional step - Place a heat diffuser under the pot so that the tomatoes disintegrate slowly without sticking to the bottom. (you may use any flat pan or steel plate)
  8. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are all broken down into a liquid 
  9. Open and fish out all the tomato skins using the wooden ladle and discard them
  10. Add the chopped parsley, little water and adjust the salt and sugar 
  11. Simmer open for another 20 minutes, adding a little water as the sauce cooks down and don't forget to stir occasionally
  12. Switch off and carry on with chicken prep
Prepare the Chicken Pasta:
  1. Heat olive oil in a deep pot
  2. Add and cook the chicken cubes until white with some brown spots
  3. Fold in the drained penne pasta and the prepared sauce 
  4. Stir in the parmesan 
  5. Spread the shredded cheese all over the top and cook until the cheese melts. 
  6. Serve hot 
Penne in Arrabbiata Sauce and cheese


I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then do share the recipe link on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Follow me on Instagram and mention @fashfaiz or tag #fashfaiz so that I can see your creations!