Arrabbiata is an Italian term for “mad” or “enraged.” Was the name of this classic Italian dish — pasta arrabbiata (or pasta all’ arrabbiata) — inspired by its bold red sauce and spicier-that-usual seasoning? Often misspelled as arrabiatta, arabiatta, arabbiata, and other variations of these letters, let’s just cook this vegan-as-is pasta dish, not try to write it.
Signature flavorings of this tomatoey pasta dish include pepperoncini (pickled Italian hot peppers, available in jars from most any supermarket) and red pepper flakes. Use the amounts given here as a guideline—for a spicier effect, taste the sauce, then slowly step up the quantity of these two key ingredients.
Complete the meal: If you include the optional cannellini (large white beans), and homemade vegan Parmesan (see super-easy directions just following), you’re all set with this as a main dish. Add a big, colorful salad to round out the meal. If you don’t want to add the beans to the pasta dish, simply add some beans or chickpeas to the salad.
Find lots more Vegan Italian Recipes.
EASIEST VEGAN PARMESAN-STYLE TOPPING
Homemade vegan Parmesan is usually a combination of nutritional yeast plus ground cashews or almonds. This version is even easier because you don’t need a machine to make it. Just two ingredients — almond flour (found in most natural foods stores) and nutritional yeast, plus a pinch of salt, and you’ve got a great topping for pasta dishes like this one.
A tablespoon or two of this topping provides you with a nice dose of Vitamin B12 (from the nutritional yeast), and almond flour is a great source of Vitamin E and calcium.
What to do: Combine a more or less equal amount of nutritional yeast and almond flour in a small container. I usually go with 1/2 cup of each. For that amount, I add 1/4 teaspoon of salt; add your salt to taste. Mix it up well. Cover and refrigerate any unused portion, where it will keep well almost indefinitely (but there’s no way you’ll make it last that long!).
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
- 4 to 6 pepperoncini, stemmed and minced, or more to taste (see note)
- 28-ounce can crushed or pureed tomatoes
- 14- to 16-ounce can Italian-style or fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 15-ounce can cannellini (large white beans), optional
- 1/4 cup dry red wine, optional
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon each: dried oregano, dried basil
- 1 pound spaghetti or thin spaghetti
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley and/or thinly sliced basil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Vegan Parmesan, optional (but highly recommended, see easy homemade in Notes)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until the onion is translucent.
- Add the bell pepper and continue to sauté just until it has lost its raw quality and the onion is golden.
- Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the saucepan, stir together, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. This can be done ahead of time.
- Just before serving, cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.
- Combine the pasta in a large serving bowl with the sauce. Add the chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper and toss well.
- Serve at once, passing around vegan Parmesan for topping, if desired.
Find pepperoncini (pickled hot peppers) in jar in the Italian food section of well-stocked supermarkets or specialty groceries.
Easiest vegan Parmesan: Combine a more or less equal amount of nutritional yeast and almond flour in a small container. I usually go with 1/2 cup of each. For that amount, I add 1/4 teaspoon of salt; add your salt to taste. Mix it up well. Cover and refrigerate any unused portion, where it will keep well almost indefinitely (but there’s no way you’ll make it last that long!).
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Here are lots more delectable vegan recipes for pasta and noodles.