This rigatoni arrabbiata calls for few ingredients and is super easy to make. The spicy arrabbiata sauce paired with burrata cheese makes this pasta dish ultra drool-worthy. Plus, it takes less than an hour to make!
If you’re not familiar with arrabbiata sauce, it a delicious combination of dried red chiles, garlic, and tomatoes all cooked in extra virgin olive oil. For this recipe, we added a bit of onion and fresh basil to give it an extra boost of flavor. Even if you’re not a fan of spicy food, the burrata cheese balances out the spice and has adds an element of freshness. Plus, it’s just really good.
Besides being incredibly delicious, this recipe is easy to make and most of the cook time comes from simmering the sauce slowly over low heat. This allows it to thicken up a bit and infuse the spice from the dried chile flakes. Once it’s done cooking, just add your pasta (cooked al dente) and top it with blobs of fresh burrata cheese. If you really want to go all out, add a piece of crusty bread to soak up all the sauce!
- Rigatoni: You’ll need 1 lb (454 g) or a whole standard pack of rigatoni. You can also use tortiglioni or penne pasta.
- Canned Whole San Marzano Tomatoes: We use 2 (28 oz) cans of peeled San Marzano tomatoes. We use Cento, but Mutti is another good brand.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This is used to sauté your onion and garlic. Plus, it adds a distinct flavor you can’t get from other oils.
- Yellow Onion: You’ll need 1 small diced yellow onion.
- Garlic: You’ll need 6 cloves of freshly minced or pressed garlic.
- Red Pepper Flakes: 1 tbsp red pepper flakes gives the sauce just the right amount of spiciness without being overwhelming. But if you’re like us, you can always add a bit more on top!
- Fresh Basil: You’ll need 16 fresh basil leaves plus more for topping.
- Sea Salt: We use fine sea salt in all our recipes.
- Burrata: Don’t skip this! It adds a touch of creaminess and balances out the spiciness of the sauce. It’s basically just mozzarella cheese, but 10x better.
How to Make Rigatoni Arrabbiata
- First, sauté the onion. Then add in the garlic and crushed red pepper followed by the tomatoes.
- Next, bring the sauce to a simmer then reduce the heat and continue to simmer for another 45 minutes. This thickens the sauce and allows the onion, garlic, and red pepper to meld into the sauce.
- Once the sauce is done cooking, add the basil, salt, a bit of pasta water, and the rigatoni.
- Lastly, top it with burrata, more fresh basil, and crushed red pepper flakes. And that’s it!
Store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Add the burrata when you’re ready to serve.
Yes, you can use tortiglioni or penne pasta since they’re similar in size and shape. The little grooves on the pasta help the sauce to stick. You can also use fusilli or spaghetti.
If your sauce tastes a bit too acidic, add about 1 tsp brown sugar to offset the acidity. This also calms down the spice level so if you don’t want to lose any heat, add a bit more red pepper flakes.
More Dinner Recipes You’ll Love
Like spicy pasta? Try out our bucatini with spicy vodka sauce!
Variations of Rigatoni all’Arrabbiata
- Add Meat: Italian sausage, chicken, shrimp, meatballs, mussels
- Gnocchi Arrabbiata: use gnocchi instead of pasta
- Add Vegetables: eggplant (aubergine), mushrooms, spinach, zucchini (courgette)
A Few Tips
- Use high quality ingredients to get the best flavor. Since this recipe calls for few ingredients, you want to make sure you get the good stuff so your pasta tastes the best that it can!
- For a thicker sauce, simmer it for a longer amount of time until you’re satisfied with the results.
- For a thinner sauce, add up to ¼ cup pasta water.
- Serve it with a side of crusty bread. We love soaking up the extra sauce with a piece of bread. We recommend a baguette, sourdough, or even a crisp piece of focaccia.
This Rigatoni Arrabbiata uses few ingredients and is super easy to make. The spicy arrabbiata sauce paired with burrata cheese makes this pasta dish ultra drool-worthy. Plus, it takes less than an hour to make!
- 1 lb (454 g) rigatoni
- 2 (28 oz) cans peeled San Marzano tomatoes, whole
- ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
- 16 basil leaves, torn
- 1 tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- 8 oz (226 g) burrata cheese
- Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and crush them with your hands until only small chunks are left. Set aside.
- In a large dutch oven or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion, stirring occasionally until translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring until fragrant (a few seconds).
- Add the tomatoes to the pot, stir, and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. This helps to thicken the sauce and allows the flavors to blend together. Stir occasionally.
- About 15-20 minutes before the sauce is done, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions.
- Before draining, reserve ¼ cup pasta water. Drain.
- Add the basil, salt, and 1-2 tbsp pasta water to the sauce. If it’s too thick, add a bit more pasta water.
- Add the rigatoni and toss until coated with the arrabbiata sauce.
- Let the pasta cook into the sauce on low heat for 1-3 minutes.
- Top with fresh basil, crushed red pepper flakes, and burrata cheese. Enjoy!
If you like your sauce a bit thicker, simmer it longer than 45 minutes.
If you’re adding extra vegetables, cook them with the onion and garlic. For spinach, toss it in with the basil and stir until wilted.
Keywords: rigatoni arrabbiata, easy arrabbiata sauce, burrata, easy pasta dinner, Italian pasta recipe, simple