Vegan arrabiata pasta is the perfect meal for those evenings when you have little time to shop or cook. The ingredients are super simple, and you can have it ready in 30 minutes.
A lot of arrabiata recipes take a while to make, because they cook down for a long time. We’ve decided to keep this vegan arrabiata recipe nice and simple by using blended tinned tomatoes. This helps to minimise the cooking time.
In addition, this recipe is a favourite of mine! It reminds me of days spent in the kitchen with my lovely Italian Nan. She showed me that you don’t need loads of ingredients to make a flavourful pasta sauce. This is also probably why I love pasta so much!
It’s extra tasty served with plenty of vegan parmesan cheese, and of course, vegan garlic bread!
📋 Ingredients Notes
We’ve kept the ingredients for our vegan arrabiata pasta as simple as possible! Here are some key notes:
- Cupboard staples – it can be made without fresh vegetables and it's then made from just cupboard staples!
- Vegetable variations – you can omit or switch out the fresh vegetables for veggies that you do have. Carrots, courgette or green beans work well. Alternatively, they can be omitted completely.
- Tinned tomatoes – in this recipe, we blend the tinned tomatoes to save on cooking time. If you want to keep the tomatoes whole, add on 15-20 minutes simmering time.
🔪 Step by Step Instructions
1. Begin by heating the olive oil in a saucepan. Olive oil has quite a low smoking point, so don’t heat it for too long.
2. Add the onion to the hot oil, and cook for 1-2 minutes until they have softened.
3. Chuck the garlic, chilli, mixed herbs and tomato puree to the pan. Cook for 1 minute. Be sure to keep everything moving so it doesn’t burn.
4. Next, pop the mushrooms in the pan. Again, make sure to keep stirring so it doesn’t catch.
5. After the mushrooms have started to turn brown and release a little liquid, add the blended tomatoes. The mushrooms usually take a couple of minutes to start going brown. Bring it up to a boil.
6. Reduce the pan to a simmer and remember to stir the sauce often.
7. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. The sauce will need 10 minutes to simmer, which is the same as the cooking time for most dried pasta. When the pasta is done drain it and set it aside.
8. Next, add the basil to the sauce along with 1 teaspoon of salt. It’s important to add the basil at the end as it retains its flavour better this way.
9. Add the pasta to the sauce. Give it a good stir and serve.
Note: This vegan arrabiata sauce is pretty fiery! This is because arrabiata is usually a spicy dish, and we do love a spicy pasta sauce.
You can make it a little milder by removing the seeds and membrane from the chilli. Or alternatively, you could leave the chilli out altogether, and use dried chilli flakes instead. If you serve the meal with chilli flakes on the table, each person can choose how spicy they would like their meal.
👨🍳 Expert tips
Is vegan arrabiata pasta spicy?
Yes – it is a spicy pasta sauce. Arrabiata actually translates to ‘angry’ in Italian. The dish gets its name because it has an ‘angry’ or fiery flavour, that comes from the spicy red chilli.
Other vegetables to add
We’ve kept this vegan arrabiata pasta nice and simple by just adding mushrooms and broccoli. The broccoli adds an extra pop of colour and tastiness too. In addition, broccoli is really good for you, so we like to add it to lots of meals!
Traditionally, it wouldn't have any extra vegetables in it.
Blended tinned tomatoes
We like to blend the tinned tomatoes for our vegan arrabiata – to make the sauce indulgently smooth! This is a step to keep the cook time down. It could also work with passata, but it’s a thin liquid, so it may need a bit longer to simmer in order to get the correct consistency.
Type of pasta to use
Dried pasta is almost always vegan, but it’s never a bad plan to check the packaging. Usually dried pasta is made from durum flour and water. Fresh pasta quite often has egg in it, so if you want to use fresh pasta make sure you look for a vegan version.
Yes! Any type of dried white pasta will work really well; conchiglie, farfalle and penne are all great options. Their names just indicate the shape, the taste will be the same.
If you want to use fresh pasta, just make sure it doesn’t have any egg in it by checking the packet. Fresh pasta also cooks more quickly than dried, so bear that in mind when you’re making the vegan arrabiata pasta.
You can make this extra healthy by using wholewheat pasta. It’s not as heavily processed as white pasta and as it’s wholewheat, it’s energy is slow releases in the body, keeping you fuller for longer.
It can! Just choose a gluten-free pasta to go with it instead of wheat pasta. Gluten-free pasta may have different cooking times, so be mindful of this.
Yes, generally! Arrabiata is a tomato based sauce and is almost always vegan. It often is just made with garlic, tomatoes, red chilli, fresh basil and onion, all cooked in olive oil.
🥖 What to serve with it
Vegan garlic bread
We don’t know about you, but we love having our carbs with more carbs! Try some awesome vegan garlic bread on the side of your pasta arrabiata if you want a real treat.
You might think it would be complicated to make, but this vegan parmesan is actually super simple. We make it all the time, and it goes especially well with Italian dishes like this one.
🇮🇹 Other recipes to try
If you like our vegan arrabiata pasta, then give some of these other Italian inspired favourites a try!
- Creamy mushroom pasta
- Vegan cannelloni with spinach and ricotta
- Vegan spaghetti bolognese
- Vegan Carbonara
- Vegan curry pasta
- Vegan pesto pasta
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Vegan Arrabiata Pasta in 30 Minutes
- 1 onion - chopped roughly
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 400 g chestnut mushrooms - quartered
- 4 cloves garlic - crushed
- 1 red chilli - finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Italian herbs
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 800 g tinned tomatoes – blended
- 200 g broccoli - chopped into bitesize florets
- 2 tbsp fresh basil - chopped roughly
- 300 g penne pasta
- 1 tsp salt
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and then drain, rinse and set aside.300 g penne pasta
- While the pasta cooks, sauté the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until it is soft and translucent.1 onion, 1 tbsp olive oil
- Add the garlic, chilli, herbs and puree and stir for a minute more.4 cloves garlic, 1 red chilli, 1 tbsp Italian herbs, 2 tbsp tomato puree
- Pop in the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, until they start to release water.400 g chestnut mushrooms
- Pour in the blended tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.800 g tinned tomatoes
- Add the broccoli and simmer for 5 minutes.200 g broccoli
- Season with 1 tsp salt and pop in the basil and the drained pasta, then stir well. Make sure all of the pasta is well coated in the sauce. Serve and enjoy!1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp fresh basil
- San Marzano tomatoes are the best type of tinned tomatoes to use. It's not a big deal if you don't have this type though, any tinned tomatoes will work.
- We blend the tomatoes to save on cooking time. If you don't blend the tomatoes, or instead use passata, add on around 15-20 minutes of simmer time, to allow the sauce to thicken.
- If you don't have mushrooms or broccoli, they can be omitted or replaced with carrots and courgette.
- Arrabiata sauce is spicy. If you don't want it to be spicy, remove the seeds and the membrane from the chilli before chopping it.
- Make this sauce gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta.
- We've used penne pasta in this recipe, but you can use any pasta shape that you like. Or even spaghetti!