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Spicy Garden Fresh Arrabbiata Sauce

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arrabbiata sauce main pic


What an incredible year for tomatoes! Wow! And I still have more coming!! I’m almost glad that I have a “simple” deck garden. The thought of having a full-blown, in-ground garden is almost scary. I would be having nightmares of millions of tomatoes…wheel barrow after wheel barrow-full…more and more, coming and coming being dumped into my kitchen…YIKES!!! 


peppers from garden


I have had plenty of tomatoes for the year, that’s for sure! And I’ve really had a blast cooking with them! It’s been a fun challenge to take something so simple and turn it into something memorable, and this was another super fun way to use them!

I love Arrabbiata sauce, but I’ve only had it in restaurants. Most tomato-based Italian sauces are really simple to make, so I decided to try my own hand at it! It was “only” 40 of my home-grown roma tomatoes that I had been growing and babying for months, along with 3 gorgeous peppers I also grew myself. If it didn’t turn out, I’d just need therapy is all, right? 


peppers diced


“Arrabbiata sauce” is basically just a simple italian-style tomato sauce kicked up with spicy hot red pepper flakes is all. Nothing overly complicated, and absolutely to die for made homemade from scratch instead of canned tomatoes! 

I started with a nice simple sauté of peppers, sweet vidalia onion, minced garlic, olive oil and kosher salt. A nice solid base for our sauce to start with!


peppers onion & salt


Such beautiful fall colors already! 😀 


arrabbiata uncooked


From there, I really had fun kicking it up and adding a lot of my favorites such as homegrown fresh-dried herbs from my herb garden, a little Cabernet Sauvignon for extra body, a pinch of butter for extra richness, a nice big bay leaf, a touch of sweetness from a bit of dark brown sugar, and an extra boost from a little chipotles in adobo sauce, and of course, the star of the sauce that makes it what it is, the crushed red pepper flakes! 😉  


arrabbiata almost done


Here it is just about done! Thick, rich and the entire NEIGHORHOOD smells like Emeril Lagasse himself came to visit and is cooking in my kitchen! 😀 (I wish!!)  


arrabbiata done in pot


And now it’s done! No more watery juices from the tomatoes remain and pool! I wanted this to be unbelievably rich…I think I accomplished that, what do you think? 😉 😀 


arrabbiata ready 2 jar


I never did learn how to can, which was on my “must-learn-to-do” list for the summer. 🙁 So this just makes two jars to use right away. I’m sure this recipe is NOT safe to just can, so please don’t can this. You can, however, freeze it, though.  


arrabbiata into jars


*If planning on freezing this, you can freeze in glass jars, but make sure you leave at LEAST 1″ of headspace at the top to make room for expansion so that the jars don’t break.  


arrabbiata sauce main pic


The uses for this deep-red, spicy-delicious sauce are truly endless! You can use it for anything you would a regular marinara or spaghetti sauce keeping in mind that it has a kick! 😉 😀

I hope that you make this before the season is over, and before the sweet, juicy, flavorful summer tomatoes disappear! It truly is a unique and spectacular sauce that you can control how much heat it has! Take care all and enjoy those last warm days of summer! ~Kelly



Spicy Garden Fresh Arrabbiata Sauce
Yield: 2 pints

Spicy Garden Fresh Arrabbiata Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes


  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 2-3 garden fresh peppers of choice such as bells, sweet or hot banana, sweet carmen, cubanelle, pimiento, and/or jalapeño, chopped
  • 1/2 of a sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced or very thinly sliced, (or about 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder), to taste
  • about 40 roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled and deseeded
  • 1/4 cup red wine, I used a Cabernet Sauvignon

less if your tomatoes are super sweet (

  • 8 fresh-dried basil leaves, crushed
  • 1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. fresh dried oregano
  • 1 Tbl. butter
  • 1 large dried bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. pureed chipotles in adobo sauce


  • Fill large pot with hot water, bring to a low boil, and blanch tomatoes. Remove to a baking sheet to cool down a little. Dump out water.
  • In same large pot, add olive oil, peppers, onion, salt and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until garlic is very fragrant and veggies are just starting to get tender. Remove from heat.
  • Peel tomato skins when cool enough to handle, break open, and remove seeds and "goop" from center wiping with your thumb. Add to pot as you go along. When all are added, stir pot well.
  • Stir in rest of ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring as needed, until thick and no longer any juice from the tomatoes remains. Blend with a hand-held emulsifier until mostly smooth or slightly chunky.
  • Cool down and funnel unto 2 clean pint-sized jars. Refrigerate and use promptly. Or freeze.


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