Umbrian Style Arrabiatta Sauce

"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."
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Ready In:
2hrs 10mins




  • Put tomato puree in a heavy based pot to simmer, with the butter, ginger, and honey.
  • In a small heavy saute pan, heat the oil, then add the hot chili (or paste or flakes).
  • Add the garlic, sweet pepper, and tomato paste, and saute a few minutes, mashing mixture as you cook, being careful not to scorch it.
  • Remove from heat and add to simmering tomatoes.
  • Add oregano and basil, and taste for salt and black pepper.
  • Also taste for heat quotient- if sauce isn't hot enough for your taste, add more hot chili now.
  • 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.
  • Continue to simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours total cooking time.
  • If using eggplant: Drain cubes after 30 minutes and rinse in colander.
  • Lightly squeeze the cubes with your hands to remove moisture and pat dry with paper towel.
  • 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.
  • Heat saute pan, add some oil to coat bottom, and add the whole garlic clove.
  • When clove sizzles, swirl it in pan, and then add eggplant.
  • Saute on high heat, tossing frequently, until golden.
  • Add cooked eggplant to sauce in the final 15 minutes of cooking, along with the parlsey.
  • Serve over cooked pasta.

Questions & Replies

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  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.



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