Bowls of prawn penne arrabbiata served with pecorino shavings and basil
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4.8 from 5 votes

Spicy Prawn Pasta Arrabbiata

This Spicy Prawn Pasta Arrabbiata is SUPER quick whether you make it in your Instant Pot or the stovetop. Easy, delicious and Slimming World friendly too!
Note: the plum tomatoes need to be puréed in a food processor or blender before using.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Instant Pot pasta arrabbiata, Shrimp Arrabbiata, Spicy Prawn pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 487kcal
Author: Lucy Parissi | Supergolden Bakes


  • 2 tbsp olive oil or low calorie cooking spray
  • 1 onion , peeled and finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tsp table salt (see instructions)
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes , plus extra to garnish
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 litre (4 cups) water
  • 400 g (14oz) dried penne
  • 400 g (14oz) tinned plum tomatoes puréed
  • 400 g (14oz) tinned cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes
  • 350 g (1 cup) raw peeled prawns (shrimp)
  • Handful basil leaves , roughly torn
  • Pecorino or Parmesan to serve


How to make Spicy Prawn Pasta Arrabbiata in your Instant Pot

  • Press ‘Sauté’, hit ‘Adjust’ and select ‘Less’. Add the olive oil (or use cooking spray) and cook the onions and garlic for 5 minutes until softened.
  • Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, chilli flakes, garlic powder and tomato paste.
  • Add the water and stir to combine.
  • Add the penne – check the water level it should cover the pasta by about 1/2 inch.
  • Add the purréed tomatoes and cherry tomatoes – do not stir.
  • Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure (this is based on a pack cooking time of 11 minutes).
  • Release the pressure manually.
  • Add the prawns (shrimp) and manually set the cooking time to ZERO at high pressure.
  • Manually release the steam and remove the inner pot from the cooker. Your pasta should be cooked until al dente – it should still have a bit of bite to it. If it is not cooked enough then leave in the pot with the lid loosely covering for another minute.
  • Add chopped basil, stir everything together and taste – you shouldn’t need to add any salt but you can adjust the seasoning if you like.
  • Serve with an extra pinch of dried chilli flakes and some shaved or grated Pecorino cheese.

Stovetop method

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add 1/2 tbsp salt and then cook your penne according to pack instructions.
  • Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large pan and gently sauté the onion over medium-low heat, stirring, for 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  • Stir in the puréed tomatoes, tomato paste and cherry tomatoes.
  • Add salt, garlic powder and chilli flakes and lightly crush the cherry tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
  • Simmer for 8 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the prawns and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes or until they turn pink.
  • Stir in the drained pasta and toss to combine in the sauce. Check the seasoning and add the basil.
  • Serve with an extra pinch of dried chilli flakes and some shaved or grated Pecorino cheese.


How long should I cook the pasta for in the Instant Pot?
  • Take a look at the pack instructions for your dry pasta. Cook the pasta for HALF the time specified in the instructions. If the time specified is an odd number, round down to nearest minute - for example if the time is 11 minutes then cook for 5.
  • Cook for the required time on high pressure and release the pressure manually as soon as the machine beeps. Remove the inner pot from the pressure cooker as residual heat will continue cooking your pasta. It is best to transfer to a platter or serve immediately after cooking.
  • If the pasta is too al dente after cooking leave in the pot, loosely covered, for another minute.
Recipe is FREE if you use low calorie spray instead of olive oil. The cheese can come from your Healthy Extra allowance or you can leave it out.
Please note I am not affiliated in any way with Slimming World. Syn values are based on the Slimming World online calculator. Nutritional information is always approximate, and will depend on the ingredients you choose, serving sizes etc.


Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1698mg | Potassium: 748mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 23.1mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 3.7mg