It’s no secret that I love spicy food, so I decided to make my family a nice batch of arrabiata sauce last weekend. It develops such an amazing flavor as the tomatoes simmer away with herbs, onion, and (my favorite) red pepper flakes! A pinch of sugar helps mellow out the acidity of the tomatoes, so it ends up tasting like a sweet-tomato spiced basil sauce. So good.

This arrabiata sauce was a much much needed change from our usual pasta sauce rotation. Not to be cheesy or anything, but it literally spiced up our life (ba dum dum)! It also smells amazing due to the big bunch of basil and minced garlic that’s in it…my dad came home before I finished cooked and said you could smell it outside! Toss it with hearty whole wheat pasta right before serving and you seriously get a dish that is delicious and filling.

**Be warned – it is spicy! If you like milder foods, decrease the amount of red pepper flakes.**


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

¼ medium red onion (diced)

5 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 – 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes

12 basil leaves

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon oregano

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot over medium-low heat, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Cook for around 3 minutes.

Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, red pepper flakes, oregano, and a pinch of salt/pepper. Chop the basil and add it to the pot too.

Stir so everything is combined.

Decrease heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Serve over whole wheat penne pasta!