Main course

Penne all’arrabbiata

Penne arrabbiata is iconic. It is one of the most popular pasta dishes of all time. Celebrated in film, the dish has been most memorable for me as Darth Vader’s favourite dish to order from Eddie Izzard’s Death Star Canteen. Penne arrabbiata made its way to the Lagrange point in the orbit of Alderaan all the way from Lazio in Italy on Earth. Unlike the characteristic ‘alla bianco‘ dishes of Rome, penne arrabbiata calls for bright red tomatoes and blazing hot chilli.

Arrabbiata‘ as a word translates to ‘angry’ in English, which is simply a reference to the fiery nature of this timeless pasta dish. There are so many recipes for penne all’arrabbiata, it seems the decent thing to do to press ctrl-alt-delete on it and cook it per The Silver Spoon.

Eddie Izzard performs the Death Start Canteen sketch. You’ll need a tray.

Penne all'arrabbiata

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By The Silver Spoon (adapted) Serves: 4
Total Time: 20 mins


  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Half tsp green chilli, chopped
  • 400g canned, chopped tomatoes
  • 400g penne
  • 1 tbsp flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan, grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and chilli and cook until browned. Remove and discard the garlic, but keep the chilli. Add the tomatoes, season and cook for 15 mins.


Meanwhile cook the penne according to the packet instructions (usually 9 mins in rolling, boiling water). Drain and add to the sauce with the parsley. Toss and warm through.


Serve in bowls with the parsley and Parmesan sprinkled over.

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