India meets Italy

Call it Italian pasta with an Indian touch – an arrabiata dish that draws on the two countries’ love of red chili peppers.

Call it Italian pasta with an Indian touch. Arrabiata sauce is a great sauce for those who love spicy food. Growing up in South India, I learned to enjoy spicy food since most of the dishes are made hot with the addition of dried red chilies. (They’re either ground or tempered in oil.) Here I’m bringing you a blend of Italy and India, with those red chilies as the link.

Masala Arrabiata Pasta


  • 3 cups pasta of your choice
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Cook pasta with salted water, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a no-stick pan and add the olive oil.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the white onion. Sauté until translucent.
  4. Add the garlic and all the ground spices along with the red pepper chili flakes. Sauté well. 
  5. Add the crushed-tomato sauce. Add ½ a cup water and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  6. In a pan, add 1 to 2 cups of cooked pasta and 3 ladles of the sauce and mix well. Transfer pasta to a bowl. 
  7. Top with Parmesan cheese and red chili flakes. Garnish with wilted spinach. Serve hot.

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