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Pasta with chickpeas and spicy tomato sauce in a bowl.

Penne Arrabbiata Recipe

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18-22 minutes
  • Total Time: 23-27 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This easy arrabbiata sauce with canned tomatoes, garlic and red pepper flakes is spicy and has both pasta and chickpeas. It’s just what you need for a hearty vegetarian meal.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 11-1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 128 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 114.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces penne
  • Chopped parsley for serving
  • Grated Parmesan for serving


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
  2. Sauté the onions until they start to soften and turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Continue cooking for 30 seconds – 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas. Simmer for 15-18 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the chickpeas have softened a bit.
  5. Cook the penne in salted boiling water until al dente according to package instructions. You can cook the pasta while the sauce simmers. Save 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the penne to the tomato sauce. Pour in the reserved pasta water. Simmer on low to medium heat for 1 minute, stirring until the pasta and chickpeas are well combined with the sauce.
  7. Divide the penne into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.


If you want to leave out the chickpeas, increase the pasta amount to 10 ounces.

You can add a handful of baby spinach or chopped kale when you stir in the pasta and chickpeas. The heat from the sauce will wilt the greens.

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. Warm them in the microwave or in a skillet over low heat. The pasta will lose its al dente bite the longer you store the leftovers.

The sauce can be made 2 days advance. Keep it in the refrigerator. Then when you’re ready, warm the sauce in a pan over low heat while you cook the pasta.

Keywords: penne arrabbiata, penne all arrabbiata