Umbrian Style Arrabiatta Sauce

Total Time
2hrs 10mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 2 hrs

This is a regional Italian recipe for a "hot" pasta sauce - my favourite meatless tomato sauce. The addition of sweet pepper, ginger, and honey (traditional for that part of Italy) both complements and tempers the heat of the sauce. I prefer to make it with fresh hot peppers or paste, but I've included a "cheater" method using hot red pepper flakes. The addition of eggplant is also traditional, but optional - if you don't care for eggplant, just leave it out.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put tomato puree in a heavy based pot to simmer, with the butter, ginger, and honey.
  2. In a small heavy saute pan, heat the oil, then add the hot chili (or paste or flakes).
  3. Add the garlic, sweet pepper, and tomato paste, and saute a few minutes, mashing mixture as you cook, being careful not to scorch it.
  4. Remove from heat and add to simmering tomatoes.
  5. Add oregano and basil, and taste for salt and black pepper.
  6. Also taste for heat quotient- if sauce isn't hot enough for your taste, add more hot chili now.
  7. Remember that the heat will temper a bit as the sauce cooks, and will be further diluted with the addition of the eggplant and pasta.
  8. Continue to simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours total cooking time.
  9. If using eggplant: Drain cubes after 30 minutes and rinse in colander.
  10. Lightly squeeze the cubes with your hands to remove moisture and pat dry with paper towel.
  11. Sprinkle some olive oil on your hands and toss the cubes, coating them with the oil- this initial coating helps prevent the eggplant from absorbing too much oil in the saute pan.
  12. Heat saute pan, add some oil to coat bottom, and add the whole garlic clove.
  13. When clove sizzles, swirl it in pan, and then add eggplant.
  14. Saute on high heat, tossing frequently, until golden.
  15. Add cooked eggplant to sauce in the final 15 minutes of cooking, along with the parlsey.
  16. Serve over cooked pasta.


Most Helpful

I adore Italian regional cooking and was blown away by this sauce (including the eggplant)! Although I went the cheater route, this sauce begs for fresh chili peppers. Thank you for posting this recipe!

Highland Lass February 17, 2003

This is a GREAT pasta sauce. I like the bite of the chillies and it is a great way to use eggplants. Dead easy too if you ignore the length of the recipe which is a little offputting until you realise what you actually have to do. Excellent tomato based pasta sauce! Thank you!

Missy Wombat April 02, 2003

What a recipe! I liked the heat. I plated this on top of 1/3 pasta then along side I placed grated cheese, then the other 1/3 I place Garlic and Walnut Sauce recipe # 72507. My DH remarked how it looked like the Italian Flag! Thanks for a make again recipe.

Rita~ October 31, 2003

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