Healthy meals and recipes for weight loss

Lighter Pasta All’Arrabbiata | Vegan Penne Arrabiata


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You will love this arrabbiata sauce recipe because it will allow you to get a 30-Minute Meal ready without blowing the calorie budget.

(Vegan Pasta) Pasta all’arrabbiata is one dish that screams Italy! As arrabbiata means angry and I know very few people that can get angry the way an Italian can! You should ask my husband… 


I’ve put Vegan Pasta in brackets, as in Italy we eat it without necessarily saying it is vegan, but I wanted to highlight it for who is new to this delicious recipe.


Where is this recipe from and what is it?


Anyway, this is a traditional dish that originated in the Lazio region (the region where Rome is) and the sauce is spicy, with its main ingredients being garlic, tomatoes, dried red chilies, and olive oil. 


Before anyone skips to the actual ingredients I’ve used for this recipe, I’d like to point out that this is not the original, traditional version: this pasta all’arrabbiata has some added vegetables (onion) and reduced calories, but the taste remains. 


Like for most, if not all of my dishes, I started thinking of how I could integrate this delicacy in my everyday weight loss efforts, and the answer was very obvious: increase the sauce and reduce the pasta. 

Vegan Pasta All'Arrabbiata

As tomato is quite rich and this sauce is normally prepared in olive oil – for which I obviously didn’t have the calorie budget – I thought of adding a few olives, which combine a bit of texture, flavor, and color… as they say: you have to eat not only with your mouth but also with your eyes!


This is another winning meal in our household: I get to eat pasta and Jay gets his heat packed in this recipe!


You will love this arrabbiata sauce recipe because it will allow you to get a 30-Minute Meal ready without blowing the calorie budget.


I like to consider this an easy penne pasta recipe, which is not only tasty but also vegan! 


Should you have some spare calories for your meal, you can prepare this penne arrabiata (one b only in the US), mix some vegan crumbled feta cheese (or any cheese you like!), put it in a baking tray, sprinkle some more vegan cheese on top…


You see where I’m going? Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted just how you like it and off you go… baked penne pasta all’arrabbiata! 


Can I use any other pasta shape? 


You may ask… the answer is yes – for the most part! This sauce calls for a short shaped pasta, so I would stick to penne, rigatoni, fusilli… anything that has the right shape to ‘hug the sauce’. 


Can I bulk this recipe up with other vegetables to make me feel fuller?


Of course, you can! You are the rider in this adventure and you should eat how you like so that your new healthy lifestyle remains sustainable!


In tomato sauces, I often like to add peppers, as they are sweet but have that something more! I know of many adding sliced portobello mushrooms, zucchini… just remember to add the calories if you are counting!


What else can I use this sauce for? 


 This sauce is very tasty and can be used as an alternative topping for jacket potatoes, as a spicy sauce base for a vegan pizza, or as a dip


What if I like my pasta as spicy as this one, but I’d like to add some meat or fish?


Well… check out our Chili and Tuna Pasta!


Is it mealtime yet? Enjoy! 


Lighter Pasta All’Arrabbiata | Vegan Penne Arrabiata

You will love this arrabbiata sauce recipe because it will allow you to get a 30-Minute Meal ready without blowing the calorie budget.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 2 portions
Calories 366 kcal


  • 10 sprays cooking spray
  • 1 small onion
  • 10 g garlic
  • ½ tsp dried crushed red chilies
  • 10 pitted green olives
  • 400 ml Tomato Passata
  • 120 g Dry Penne Pasta
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste


  • Thinly chop the onions, garlic, pitted green olives and set aside, without mixing them.
  • Put a large pot full of water to boil; the water quantity to boil the pasta should be about 1 liter for every 100g of pasta you are planning to cook.
  • Meanwhile, put a large frying pan on the fire and warm up the 10 sprays of cooking spray on low heat; once this is warm add to it the onion, garlic, red chili flakes, black pepper (if liked), and a bit of salt, mix well, cover the pan, keeping the flame to a minimum.
  • After about one minute, add a couple of tablespoons of water, mix well again and reapply the lid on top; the water will allow the onion to soften.
  • Once the onion becomes transparent and soft (on a low flame it should take a further 4 minutes after adding the water), add the olives, tomato passata, and about 50ml of water, mix well and apply the lid again, turning the heat to medium. Leave it to simmer so the tomato passata cooks.
  • At this point the water should be boiling, so you are ready to add the salt and pasta to it; remember to mix well the pasta once you add it to the pan and again every 2-3 minutes so the penne do not stick to each other.
  • Meanwhile taste the sauce and add salt, if needed. Should the tomato sauce be too acidic, add a little sprinkle of caster sugar to it, as this will mellow it down. Should you feel the sauce has gone too dry, add a bit of water to it and bring it back to the boil; should you feel instead that it is too liquid, remove the lid and increase the heat, to allow the extra water to evaporate. Once the tomato sauce is cooked (the raw taste of tomato from the passata is gone) and the consistency is of your liking, turn the heat off and keep aside with the lid on.
  • Once the pasta is cooked (most brands recommend between 10 and 13 minutes), drain it – without over draining it - and add it to the sauce. Mix it well while keeping it on a low flame, then divide between two plates and serve. Enjoy!


A few notes to make life even easier or to change your recipe:
- Should you prefer your sauce chunky, you can use a tin of chopped tomato instead of passata; to increase the tomato flavor, you may want to add a teaspoon of tomato paste to the onions, before adding the chopped tomato. Follow the rest of the recipe as it is.
- Should you prefer black olives, then you can use those instead of the green ones.
- For added color, feel free to add some herbs as to your liking: you can use this as a base sauce and add some grilled chicken breast, tuna in water, or other vegetables to it.
- Should you need to add some fats to your diet (which are important for so many functions, such as the absorption of some vitamins!) use a tablespoon of olive oil instead of the cooking spray at the beginning, but just remember to add the calories.
- Remember to amend your calorie count for any modification applied to the recipe.


Calories: 366kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 12gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 375mgPotassium: 1144mgFiber: 8gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 1426IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 5mg
Keyword 30-Minute Meal, Easy Pasta, Vegan Pasta Arrabbiata, Vegan Pasta Recipe
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