{recipe} Homemade Arrabbiata Marinara Sauce

Have you ever tasted Pasta Arrabbiata from Cheesecake Factory?  If not, you need to!  However, with this marinara recipe you don't even need to go to the restaurant to enjoy it.  "Arrabbiata" means "angry" in Italian and with the help of crushed red pepper flakes this pasta sauce can be as angry/spicy as your heart desires.  I typically make large batches of this recipe and keep them frozen in my garage freezer.  We use this sauce with multiple dishes:  basic pasta with marinara, lasagna, manicotti, chicken parmesan...etc.  It's very versatile and always good to have on hand.
{I multiplied the recipe 4 times to get the amount of sauce above}
So let's get to it!  Below are the ingredients needed for a single batch of this sauce.  Needed:  olive oil, tomato sauce, Italian flavored stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, green bell pepper, onion, garlic, Lawry's garlic salt, crushed red pepper flakes, kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, Italian seasoning, sugar, bay leaves, spaghetti packet, fresh basil, fresh oregano

{not pictured above, but definitely needed-- 1 more can of tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes, sugar, bay leaves, spaghetti seasoning packet, fresh basil & kosher salt}

First cut up your aromatics.  Cut the onion and bell pepper into one inch pieces and mince an entire bulb of garlic.  Mince a tablespoon of each basil and oregano and set aside.  Heat up the olive oil in a heavy bottom pan and saute the onion, bell pepper and garlic with a healthy pinch of kosher salt and pepper until translucent.

 Once the peppers and onions have cooked down add an entire small can of tomato paste and stir around to incorporate.  Add two cans of stewed tomatoes and two cans of tomato sauce with two cans of water and let simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Now, lets add our seasonings!  This is where your judgement comes in.  I like my pasta with a hint of heat so I add one teaspoon of crushed red peppers, but you can omit it all together if you have a picky eater on your hands.  Add 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt, tablespoon of fresh basil & a tablespoon of fresh oregano, 1 spaghetti seasoning packet and salt and pepper to taste.
{McCormicks spaghetti seasoning packet is my all time fave, but if you have your own fave go with that}
After your pot of marinara sauce has simmered for  yet another 15-20 minutes, add 3-4 tablespoons of sugar to your mixture.  This cuts through the acidity of your tomatoes and gives the sauce a nice rounded flavor.  Believe me... you'll want to add the sugar!  I forgot to add it once and it changed the flavor entirely.
After the sauce is done simmering, let it cool down and ladle into air-tight freezer containers.  Make sure when filling your containers to NOT fill all the way to the top.  You must leave 3/4 inch to allow the pasta sauce to expand when it freezes.  I've ruined many containers because I've forgotten this step.

Our favorite way to eat this marinara sauce is with rigatoni and cooked/slice Colosimo's Hot Italian sausages.  If you haven't tried Colosimo's sausage, you're missing out.  Since we've moved to NM we haven't been able to find this sausage here.  We've had to either order them online and pay a fortune to have them shipped or stock up while we're back in Utah-- it's that good!  Alright, happy marinara sauce making!


  1. This sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing your recipe and the advice on filling the jars. Easy step to forget!
    Joy @ tomorrow's memories

  2. Thanks so much! What type of jars are those? - they look great for this purpose.

  3. Thanks ladies. Janessa-- the jars are 16 oz. Ball brand freezer jars. I bought them at my local grocery store in the canning section. They typically come four per package and run roughly $4/ pack. They really are the best freezer jars out there. We've tried the ziplock brand freezer containers, but they tend to stain easily with the marinara sauce-- it makes me feel as though I can never get them clean enough. ;)

  4. This looks so yummy & I love how organized you are. Where did these cute containers come from? Are they glass? I'd love for my readers to see this if you'd like to link up to my par-tay! Warmly, Michelle


  5. Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust-- The containers are actually just regular tupperware with a screw tight lid. LOVE THEM!

  6. Thanks Kirsten, I'm pleased to feature your awesome recipe {and jars!} on my Fab Friday Favorites post today. Please feel free to take an "I Was Featured button if you'd like one. And I hope you come back next week & show me what you're up to!

    Warmly, Michelle



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