A rich, spicy tomato sauce with big creamy butterbeans

If you love arrabbiata sauce with pasta then you’ll love bean arrabbiata too.

PREP TIME: 5 mins
IDEAL FOR: midweek meal, family, vegetarian

What is arrabbiata sauce

Arrabbiata sauce, or sugo all’arrabbiata in Italian, is a spicy sauce for pasta.

It’s made from garlic, tomatoes, and dried red chilli peppers cooked in olive oil.

It originates from the Lazio region, and particularly from Rome.

What’s the difference between Bolognese and Arrabiata?

Both arrabbiata sauce and Bolognese sauce are tomato sauces made with crushed tomatoes and garlic. 

However, Bolognese is a meat-based tomato sauce which includes a sofrito (onion, celery and carrots) along with white wine, chicken broth and either milk or heavy cream.

Bean Arrabbiata

Bold Beans use their Queen Butter Beans instead of pasta.

They’re big, fat, creamy and juicy.

BTW, I don’t get asked to promote them, I just like their product but any butter beans will work.

And my love for beans as a meat-free dish remains strong as they are rich in protein and full of fibre.

That’s not to say, I don’t love pasta.


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 3 tsp chilli flakes, or 2 medium hot chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • A handful of basil leaves (roughly 10g), plus a handful of leaves to garnish
  • 2 x 400g tin of quality chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 700g jar of Bold Bean Co Queen Butter Beans (or 2 x 400g tins of butter beans), drained
  • 25g parmesan, plus extra to serve


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chilli/chilli flakes. After about a minute, add the basil leaves and gently wilt them in the flavoured oil, approx. 1 minute.
  2. Pour in the chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Simmer for 4-5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken slightly. Then, pour in the beans and mix well to combine. Simmer for a further 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the parmesan and plenty of black pepper.
  4. Serve with extra parmesan, scatter over some fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Bean arrabbiata