Classic Arrabbiata tomato sauce



25 min


10 cups (2.5 L)

* PLUS Cooking time: 240 minutes
Classic Arrabbiata tomato sauce


  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary , or 1 tbsp dried rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 10 to 12 regular or 18 to 20 plum tomatoes , about 2.5 kg
  • 156-mL can tomato paste
  • 4 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 4 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp hot-red-chili-flakes
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil , optional


  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, mince garlic and chop onions. Chop rosemary. Heat oil in a large wide saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic. Stir often until onions start to soften, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, to remove tomato skins, slice an x in the bottom of each. Add a few at a time to boiling water. Boil about 30 seconds. Then, using a slotted spoon, remove to a large bowl filled with cold water. Slip off skins and discard. Coarsely chop tomatoes, including seeds.
  • Once onions are softened, add tomatoes, juice and seeds. Stir in tomato paste. Sprinkle with rosemary, oregano, dried basil, salt, chili flakes and sugar. Increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, to thicken sauce and develop flavour, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, chop fresh basil. Once sauce is cooked, stir in basil. Sauce will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week or freeze about 5 months. Freeze in 1- or 2-cup (250- or 500-mL) portions for fast microwaving for dinner for one or two.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 124,
  • Protein
  • 3 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 18 g,
  • Fat
  • 6 g,
  • Fibre
  • 4 g,
  • Sodium
  • 376 mg.

Arrabbiata means angry in Italian. So, go ahead and blow off some steam while cooking up a big batch of this spicy full-flavoured sauce. It’s great with noodles, roasted chicken or veal parmigiana.