Enjoy the sweet and spicy flavors of this vegan Pasta all'Arrabiata with roasted garlic, diced tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. Topped with fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese, this classic pasta dish is the perfect 30-minute weeknight meal.
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A few months ago I spent a glorious week in Italy. It was my first time traveling to Italy and, yet, possibly the BEST place I've ever been to. It was incredible - the views, the history, the wine, and, of course, the food.
I mean, what's not to love about pizza and pasta for days? Truth be told, this came as a bit of a surprise to me. As someone who prefers stir-fries and Buddha bowls, I expected days of pasta and pizza to get old fast. I was not prepared for Italian pizza and pasta; it was mind-blowingly good.
The second day we were in Rome, I had some of the best pasta of my life at a small cafe inside Piazza Navona. I ordered Aglio et olio (Spaghetti with olive oil and garlic) because it was a dish I was familiar with and knew with confidence that it was vegan. My partner order Pasta Arrabiata and friends, it was AMAZING. Hands down the best pasta I've had...ever.
So of course, when I came home I had to attempt to recreate this classic Italian pasta.
What is Pasta all'Arrabiata?
Pasta Arrabiata is a classic Italian dish made traditionally with penne pasta covered in Arrabiata sauce. This delicious sauce is made simply from olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes for the classic sweet and spicy taste.
Arrabiata literally translates to "angry" representing the spiciness of this sauce. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
As I mentioned, this vegan pasta recipe is super simple to make. It can be made in just about 30 minutes with minimal prep. And yet it elevates your pasta game to a whole new level.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Penne Pasta – Feel free to swap out the penne pasta for any other kind of pasta you have on hand.
- Olive Oil
- Red Pepper Flakes - Feel free to reduce or omit the red pepper flakes for a less spicy dish.
- Diced Tomatoes - This recipe calls for canned tomatoes. If you would rather use fresh, use between 10-12 steak tomatoes, or roughly 2 pounds.
- Tomato Paste
- Maple Syrup - This is to add a bit of sweetness to the recipe. You could substitute it with 1 teaspoon white or brown sugar, agave nectar, or coconut sugar.
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Basil
- Vegan Parmesan – I’m a HUGE fan of Violife parmesan. It is creamy, melty, and tastes exactly how I remember parmesan to taste. If you don’t have access to Violife, you can make your own parmesan or omit it altogether.
For this recipe, you will need a saucepot, skillet, basic kitchen utensils, and a colander. (<<affiliate links)
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to Make Pasta all'Arrabiata
Step One – Cook the Pasta
To begin, make the penne pasta. Bring 2 quarts of water to a rapid boil and add the penne pasta. Cook for 10-12 minutes until the pasta is al dente. Be careful not to overcook the pasta or it will become soft and gummy.
Strain the cooked pasta through a colander and toss with a bit of olive oil. This prevents the pasta from clumping together.
Step Two – Make the Arrabiata Sauce
While the pasta cooks, make the Arrabiata sauce. In a large skillet heat up the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes for 60 seconds, until the garlic is slightly browned and fragrant. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, maple syrup, and salt and simmer for an additional 10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
Remove from heat and add diced basil. Toss the sauce with your cooked noodles and serve with vegan parmesan.
Serving and Storing
Serve immediately with fresh basil and vegan parmesan. Serve with crusty bread and a vegan caesar salad.
Store the leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently reheat the pasta over the stove with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Store extra sauce in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to use, place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this gluten-free?
Sure! There are many vegan and gluten-free pasta options available.
More Vegan Pasta Recipes
- Creamy Hemp Alfredo Pasta
- Vegan Pesto Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Bechamel Sauce
- Penne Pasta with Vegan Vodka Sauce
- Vegan Fettuccini Alfredo
Vegan Pasta all'Arrabiata
- 8 oz. penne pasta
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ cup basil leaves, minced
- vegan parmesan, optional
- In a large skillet, heat up the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 60 seconds. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, maple syrup, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Remove from heat and add the finely chop the basil. Toss with penne pasta and serve immediately with vegan parmesan cheese (optional) and fresh basil.
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