Creamy chicken all’Arrabbiata with penne. This spicy recipe is a twist on the Italian pantry staple pasta called penne all’Arrabbiata that gets its name from the generous amount of chili peppers. It’s basically pasta with tomato sauce and Parmesan with a delicious kick from the red pepper flakes. This version, while not traditional, incorporates all of the essentials as well as some of my own favorite additions, including cream and chicken leaving you with an irresistible rich dish. Plus, it’s fuss-free and ready in about 25 minutes, so let me win you over with its depth of flavor and ease of cooking.
A mildly spiced arrabbiata with tender chicken, a garlicky tomato sauce, spiked with red pepper flakes and chilli paste. The cream helps to tone down the spices, while parsley adds a fresh touch. This one is for all you spicy food lovers, you can add as much heat as you can handle. This dish should be almost fiery and don’t forget to add lots of black pepper too.
It doesn’t matter how hot you dare to go, this is an easy to make, quick and satisfyingly spicy dish using simple ingredients.
Let me guide you through the recipe with this step-by-step VIDEO.
-you can use boneless/skinless chicken thighs or ground meat like chicken, turkey, beef, pork or sausage
-add greens like spinach, baby kale or arugula
-add veggies like roasted bell peppers or peas
-omit chicken and make a vegetarian version
-use any pasta shape of your choice
-the amount of heat in this recipe gives a warm but not overpowering heat, if you prefer to have your socks knocked off, you can always add a little more
-because I love its taste, I used sambal oelek to add some extra heat, but you can use any kind of chili paste
-serve with a side salad drizzled with Caesar dressing
-don’t skip the garlic, this recipe uses 4 cloves but add 2 more if you like things really garlicky
-add some red wine to the sauce at the same time as the broth, it will add a rich depth of flavor
More pasta, please!
- 250 g (8.8 oz) penne
- 400 g (14 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks
- 150 g (5.3 oz) cherry tomatoes
- 400 ml (1 3/4 cups) tomato puree
- 100 ml (1/2 cup) cream 20% fat
- 50 ml (1/4 cup) chicken broth
- 1-2 tsp sambal oelek, more or less to taste
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 50 g (1.8 oz) grated Parmesan, more for serving
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp each: salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, sweet paprika, dried oregano, dried sage
Cook penne in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water.
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, cook until the chicken starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes until it softens. Stir in the seasoning and cook for another 30 seconds until aromatic.
Deglaze with chicken broth, and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to release the brown bits. Add tomato paste and sambal, stir to combine and cook for 1 minute or until it starts to darken. Add cherry tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato puree, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cream, parmesan and parsley, cook for 1 minute.
If the sauce looks too dry, add a splash of the pasta cooking water. Taste and adjust salt.
Toss with penne, stir to coat.
Divide pasta among bowls, top with parmesan, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and extra black pepper. Enjoy!