Ziti Arrabbiata

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Ziti Arrabbiata is an excellent, spicy pasta dish.


Ziti Arrabbiata

Ziti Arrabbiata is an excellent spicy pasta dish. Simple and easy to put together and bake in the oven. Baked Ziti is a wonderful dish all its own. When done correctly, it is actually very different from lasagna. Just a classic Italian, American comfort food dish.

Arrabbiata sauce, or sugo all’arrabbiata in Italian, is a spicy sauce for pasta made from garlic, tomatoes, and dried red chili peppers cooked in olive oil. The sauce originates from the Lazio region, around Rome.

Serve this with some crusty French Bread, Cheesy Garlic Bread or homemade Ciabatta Bread. Add in a garden fresh salad and what a perfect meal.

  • Author: Dana Cowin
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 80


  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper, divided
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, smooshed with your hands, juices reserved
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, warmed
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 pounds ziti
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup coarse bread crumbs


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  2. Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, just a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, with their juices, and a very large pinch of salt, turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the sauce until just slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until a smooth paste the palest shade of brown forms, about 2 minutes. While whisking continuously, slowly pour in the milk. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook, stirring, until it is nice and thick, about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and season the béchamel to taste with salt and nutmeg. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
  5. Fill your largest pot with water, bring it to a boil and season liberally with salt. (You might need to cook the pasta in 2 batches, depending on the size of your pot.) Add the ziti and cook it 3 minutes short of the package instructions—you don’t want it to cook all the way through, or it will overcook when you bake it.
  6. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl. Add the reserved tomato sauce, the béchamel, mozzarella and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan to the ziti and stir well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and scatter the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over the top.
  7. Toss the bread crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl and season with salt. Scatter the bread crumbs over the ziti, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Bake the pasta until it is bubbling and the top is browned, about 15 minutes. Let the pasta rest for 10 minutes before serving.


  • Serving Size: 6



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