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Arrabbiata Sauce with Gnocchi & Vegan Meatballs

In this post I am providing the recipe for a rich Arrabbiata sauce which I made yesterday to stir into gnocchi and vegan meatballs.

Arrabbiata sauce is a spicy Italian sauce made from garlic, tomatoes and dried red chilli peppers. I love a chilli kick, so I always add a little more chilli than usual in this recipe. When eating out, if I opt for the Arrabbiata it never seems spicy enough so I always ask for the chilli oil to drizzle over my dish.

I haven’t made Arrabbiata sauce since being vegan (8 months!), and one of our family favourite ways to enjoy this sauce was lots of it stirred into spaghetti and fresh meatballs. I was all out of spaghetti yesterday but I had a pack of gluten free, vegan gnocchi in the cupboard so decided to use this instead.

Whilst browsing the vegan shelves in Waitrose on Saturday, I spotted these little delights. They look great, but I have been fooled before with vegan meatballs – looks can be deceiving when it comes to processed plant-based alternatives! So I bought them but didn’t make a fuss, I didn’t tell the family we would be having meatballs as I didn’t want to build their hopes up.

Vegan and Gluten Free Meatballs from Waitrose

WOW! I was amazed, as were the rest of the family – they are chewy, firm, not greasy and they tasted delicious. I honestly had to check the packaging again when Simeon asked ‘mum are you sure these are vegan?’ and Paul said ‘are you sure these are gluten free?’ I doubted myself, they were the best vegan / non-vegan meatballs I have ever tasted.

This, of course is just a serving suggestion, but as a family, we highly recommend Arrabbiata sauce stirred into fluffy gnocchi and your favourite vegan meatballs. If you have a pack of pasta, this sauce is amazing on it’s own stirred into pasta also.

Arrabbiata Sauce

This is a spicy rich Italian sauce – delicious stirred into pasta or with gnocchi and your favourite vegan meatballs.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp red chilli flakes (more or less depending on personal preference)
  • 1 small glass vegan red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 500g pack passata
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • coriander or basil to garnish.


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan to a medium heat.
  • Saute the onions for 5 minutes until they become translucent.
  • Stir in the garlic, herbs, chilli flakes tomato paste and red wine and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the passata, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add a little boiled water if the sauce is too thick – I add around 100ml for my desired consistency.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and stir into your choice of pasta or gnocchi and serve.
  • Garnish with coriander or basil.

1 comment on “Arrabbiata Sauce with Gnocchi & Vegan Meatballs

  1. Pingback: Arrabbiata Sauce with Gnocchi & Vegan Meatballs — Something Dishy | My Meals are on Wheels

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