Chicken Arrabbiata

Oh Chicken Arrabbiata, you have my heart.  My husband made this dinner for me many years ago.  It was a date night meal; one that he was excited to cook for me.  Not only did I fall in love with him all those years ago, I fell in love with this dish, too.  And here we are almost ten years later, now a family of five, and still enjoying this meal!

Arrabbiata means ‘angry’ in Italian, and while this sauce may be spicy, it sure doesn’t make me angry! It has just the right amount of heat, but also a really excellent sweet flavor to balance it out.  Because of this sauce, I’ve become a huge fan of balsamic vinegar, which is one of the main flavors in this sauce.  Balsamic vinegar and tomatoes are certainly a winning combination!  I would not recommend leaving it out of this sauce. 

You can certainly adjust the amount of pepper flakes in this recipe to make it more/less spicy.  Although, my little girls eat this exactly as is and have never complained that it’s too spicy.  Actually, they gobble this meal right up; this one is always a winner with my family!

This is yet another quick and easy dish.  I tell ya, those Italians know what they’re doing.  Always with the quick and delicious!  I wish I was Italian.  That is what they say; if you’re not Italian, then you probably want to be Italian!  Ah well,  I’ll just keep making their food.

Now for the recipe!


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb penne or farfalle pasta
Bring a pot of water to boil.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add in the chicken and cook until browned.  Add in the onions and lastly the garlic.  Sauté for several minutes until onions are translucent and chicken is cooked through.  Add in the remaining ingredients, except for pasta.  Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to med-low and allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.  While the sauce is simmering, place the pasta into the boiling water.  Cook according to package instructions, until al dente.  Once the pasta is cooked and the sauce has simmered, either mix the pasta with the sauce and serve, or serve by plating a portion of pasta and spooning the sauce over the pasta.  

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