Chicken Bacon Spinach Penne


1 (14-ounce can) (400g) whole peeled tomatoes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 clove garlic minced or crushed

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ cup parmesan cheese or pecorino romano grated, plus extra for serving

8 oz (225g) penne pasta

5 fresh basil leaves chiffonaded


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil, tomato paste, garlic, pepper flakes, paprika, and salt, while stirring occasionally. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until you get a deep red colored sauce.

Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, breaking the tomatoes down with a wooden spoon as they cook. Keep cooking, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the penne in salted water according to the package instructions until just “al dente”. Reserve pasta water in case you need to use it later.
Drain the cooked pasta, and add it to the tomato sauce. If needed, adjust the consistency by adding reserved pasta water.

Add the parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, and stir a few times until it melts.

Garnish with chopped basil and/or parsley leaves, serve warm with extra parmesan cheese.



This recipe uses 3 types of pepper, ground black pepper, red chili, and paprika. This gives you a moderate amount of heat, it’s warm but not overpowering. But if you prefer a really angry pasta, you can make it as furious as you’d like by adding more red chilies.

Feel free to add more garlic, I usually use just 1 or 2 large cloves, but adding more will give a garlicky flavor which is also great.

You can use other shapes of short pasta in this dish, but I don’t recommend long shapes such as spaghetti or linguine as the sauce won’t be captured very well and will simply slide off the pasta.

The pasta water is starchy and perfect to thicken pasta sauces, and sometimes to thin out sauces when they dry out. Best to use it instead of normal water, it’s a traditional Italian technique used in cooking pasta.

Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil if you like, and garnish with freshly chopped basil leaves or parsley leaves (or both!).

Fridge – store pasta arrabbiata in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Reheat – pasta with sauce always dries out when refrigerated overnight. For the best reheating option, add a splash of water to the pasta then microwave, toss well.

Freeze – I don’t recommend freezing the pasta, but you can make a batch of arrabbiata sauce and freeze it in a sealed container for up to 3 months. Reheat it in a small saucepan on low heat, and toss it with pasta to serve.

Nutrition – is per portion.


Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 573mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 2mg