This is the ultimate nostalgic and classic dish for me, and probably the dish I ate the most of when lived in student housing; broke as hell and living of of pasta penne and spicy as hell tomato sauce.. Haha !
I have made a Slow Cooked Pasta Marinara Sauce before, and also referred to this as “Tomasta”, and it definitely is, but this is the Original Version of my beloved “Tomasta”.

Albeit the sauce I made back then was the broke ass version with the cheapest canned chopped tomatoes I could ever find, making it both cheaper and quicker to make. But alas, I must admit, while the broke version was really good, this version definitely beats it, and it's not even that expensive either !

Made from scratch with fresh tomatoes, slow cooked and reduced to almost nothingness but absolutely packed with intense heat flavour, then brought back to life again with more liquid, pasta and pasta water (yes you read it right – pasta water) to thicken the viscosity of the sauce ! This only works if you add the oil in the sauce as it reacts with the starches in the pasta water and creates a thick textured sauce instead of a watery one, so the oil is crucial for this method. The rigate lines on the penne will pick up this creamy sauce and there will be a thick coat of sauce lining the pasta.

The heat of the sauce if very palatable if you’re into spicy dishes, the heat wont be super noticeable in the first few bites, but it will slowly build up to a lovely heat, but still not too much as you can still taste the other flavours in the sauce. It can easily be served with extra chili oil and added chili flakes if you’re a super bad ass though. Although, many chili oils and flakes do vary a lot in heat and flavour; I have a VERY hot chili olive oil and the flakes are okay-spicy-to-medium heat (for me at least). I used to make this dish more than 2 times weekly (if not everyday – not kidding – I was 19, don’t judge me), and the amount of chili I used in this dish became more and more, addiction to chili and buildup in tolerance is a real thing you guys.

But I would say that this version is pretty well balanced with a kick, so don’t be too afraid ! But remember, Arrabiata means ‘angry’ in Italian referring to the chili in the sauce, so do expect some heat.

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Serves 4



  • 400g pasta penne rigate (14 oz)
  • Pasta water as needed
  • A generous amount of salt


  • 1.2 kg red ripe tomatoes (2.65 lbs)
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1.2 dl water (½ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon spicy chili olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon dried vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes and seeds
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grind black pepper

Garnish (optional)

What you will need

  • Cutting board and knife
  • 1 big bowl
  • 1 large pot for sauce– wide is good
  • 1 large pot for pasta
  • Measuring spoons
  • 1 measuring cup
  • 1 spider








  1. Wash the tomatoes. Roughly chop them into small sized chunks and discard the hard stem part. Put into a big bowl and set aside.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onions. Put in a large wide pot with the olive oil, chili oil, chili flakes, pepper and salt. Turn the heat on high and sweat the onion for a few minutes, stirring occupationally.
  3. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  4. When the onion are translucent add in the chopped tomatoes and the garlic. Bring to a simmer. When simmering turn the heat to low and let simmer without a lid on for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The sauce should have reduced to about 1/3 of it’s original size, so the time can vary, the wider the surface area of the pot the faster it goes, the shallower and tall the pot the slower it goes, so keep and eye on it while you’re stirring.
  5. When reduced to 1/3 of it’s size add in the water, dried vegetable stock, oregano, basil, sugar and nutritional yeast. The sugar and nutritional yeast acts as taste enhancers, not to make it sweet or cheesy. Cover with a lid and let simmer on low for a few minutes. Add more salt, pepper or chili as desired now. Continue to simmer with a lid on while the pasta is cooking.
  6. Boil the pasta penne as recommended of the package, be generous with salting the water, but under cook the pasta for about 1 minute.
  7. When the pasta is slightly under cooked use a spider to transfer the penne to the pot with the tomato sauce. A little pasta water is okay to add, so don’t drain them completely before transferring. The pasta water will add viscosity to the sauce and make it more creamy. Don’t strain the pasta and discard the water in the sink, if needed you are going to use more of the pasta water to cream the sauce.
  8. Let the penne al’arrabiata simmer until the pasta is cooked al dente, while stirring. If needed add in a few tablespoons of the pasta water to make it creamy.
  9. Divide the pasta penne al’arrabiata evenly onto 4 deep dish plates. Sprinkle with Vegan Parmesan, vegan grated cheese, add fresh basil leaves and serve hot !

Enjoy !


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 Ribbet collage