Classic Tomato-Based Pasta: Fusilli Arrabbiata

Healthy pasta has become a thing here on The India Edition! And no, healthy pasta isn’t necessarily an oxymoron. Today I’m sharing a quick, easy recipe for a classic tomato-based pasta that is so comforting on a cool rainy day. It’s just a good, spicy [vegan] fusilli arrabbiata that I hadn’t made in a very long time.

classic tomato-based pasta vegan

This one is made with just a few simple ingredients that you’re sure to have on hand. First: I always use whole wheat pasta. A good tomato puree is important too: you can make your own (boil, blanch, skin and puree) or use a store-bought version. I find that those are more concentrated and can often pack in more sodium, so adjust by adding a little water if needed and check before seasoning. Next: dried red chilis. Well, actually, Italian peperoncino (a type of chili) would be authentic for an arrabbiata sauce but I use Kashmiri red chilis (they work perfectly well). Finally, basil, oregano and extra virgin olive oil. I also use a piece of carrot in any tomato sauce I prepare as a natural antidote to the acidity. You can use the carrot afterwards in a vegetable stock or discard it. The whole cooking process is done in about 25 minutes.

classic tomato-based pasta vegan

This classic tomato-based pasta makes a great weeknight vegan dinner on a cold or rainy evening. If you’re eating it as a meal by itself, there are a few easy ways to make it more filling. Start with a fresh salad topped with nuts and incorporate some baked tofu into the pasta. And of course, you can also top it with a little cheese!

If you make this pasta with arrabbiata sauce, do let me know how it turns out for you. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, on Instagram (hashtag #theindiaedition), Twitter or Facebook.

Classic Tomato-Based Pasta: Fusilli Arrabbiata
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 100g dry whole wheat fusilli or penne pasta, boiled
  • 150ml tomato puree
  • 2 dried red chilies, soaked in hot water, de-seeded and chopped finely
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp high heat oil or butter
  • ¾ tsp dried oregano
  • 8-10 basil leaves
  • 1 3-inch whole piece of carrot, peeled
  • ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • ½ tsp pepper or to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a large pan, sauté the garlic and oregano in 1 tbsp of any high heat oil or butter for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned.
  2. Add in the tomato puree, chopped rehydrated red chili and piece of carrot.
  3. Allow the sauce to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add in the cooked pasta and basil leaves, tearing them into smaller pieces just as you add them in.
  5. Mix for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Discard the carrot or use it in a vegetable stock.
  7. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

In other news, my basil plants are blooming! If you don’t grow your own herbs, you must start – it’s incredibly exciting and rewarding. I would love to hear any tips from those who already grow their own.

classic tomato-based pasta vegan

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