Spicy Penne Arrabiata

I was recently visiting my sister in Malaysia and was lucky to have a reunion with some of my university friends. On my last night there, I wanted to do something special with everyone and of course, that calls for some delicious home-cooked food. I decided on Sausage Curry, Spaghetti Aglio Olio & Penne Arrabiata: 3 university meal favourites!

It was a little spicier than I originally wanted it to be! We were all huffing and puffing from the spice, but enjoyed it! I modified 2 of Jamie Oliver’s recipes; his Kick-arse Arrabiata & the Double-whammy Arrabiata. Be warned! This pasta is not for the faint hearted!

So here’s my recipe for Spicy Penne Arrabiata:


  • 400 g penne pasta
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 600 g of tomatoes (you may use the canned versions if that’s easier)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Bunch of basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of dried chilli flakes
  • 3 birds’ eye red chillies, finely sliced
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt to season
  • 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese


Cook the pasta, until al dente; about 11- 13 minutes. Reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water, after draining the cooked pasta.

In a separate pan, add a dash of olive oil and fry the chillies/ chilli flakes and garlic. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Add 1 cup of reserved pasta water and allow the sauce to simmer. Once the sauce has thickened, add the cooked pasta and mix well. Add a little more of the remaining pasta water to mix well. Season with salt and add the oregano.

Cook for about 1 minute and remove off the heat. Serve garnished with more chopped chilli, torn basil leaves and Parmesan cheese!

It’s one of the easiest meals to make, is ready in 15 minutes or less, and absolutely delicious. Perfecto!

If you don’t want the pasta too spicy, you can eliminate the addition of the bird’s eye chillies.

Bon Appetit!



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