Including this sauce in my repertoire of Indian fusion cuisine was natural due to the commonality of ingredients. Healthy tomato, onion and garlic sauces are common in both Italian and Indian cuisines so the incorporation of a few Indian spices and techniques turn this sauce into a delightfully robust dish.

Arrabbiata sauce got its name from the word arrabbiato which means angry in Italian due to the large amount of red hot chile powder that is used to make it. I felt compelled to add a few dried red Indian chiles to the pot to stir up the heat beyond that of the chile powder.

Spicy Arrabbiata Tomato Sauce and Penne

This Arrabbiata Sauce with Penne recipe blends the spices and red chiles of India with the spicy tomato sauce of Italy. Serve with penne for a delicious meal.

To make this dish, I start by roasting fenugreek, cumin and fennel seeds on a hot pan then roasting them to a fine powder after they cool.

The base of the sauce is made by frying the onion, garlic and chiles in hot oil to give them a head start at cooking. After the onion begins to soften, I add chopped tomatoes and the ground spices and let everything simmer together until the tomatoes fall apart and form the sauce.

While the sauce simmers, I prepare the pasta. I prefer to use rigate since is has ridges on the outside of the tubes to catch the sauce.

Some popular recipes for arrabbiata sauce grind it through a food mill to make it smooth. I do not do that in this recipe. Since the onions are slivered and the garlic sliced, processing it defeats the purpose of these steps. I also like the chunky texture so I can see the onions and garlic along with tomato bits.

When everything is ready, simply add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix it all together. I serve it in individual plates and top with a bit of chopped fresh Italian parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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