Penne arrabbiata with beetroot and lime granita

A fiery and traditional Italian dish with a cooling accompaniment and best of all…it’s completely vegan if you drop the meat substitute mince! Granita is usually served as a dessert but, with this spicy sauce (‘arrabbiata’ translated into English means ‘angry’!), it cools when necessary.


  • 150g wholewheat pasta (75g dry per person)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion (finely chopped)
  • 5 cloves garlic (finely diced)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 red chilli (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 2 red peppers (roughly chopped)
  • 200g artichoke hearts (drained and chopped)
  • 1 tsp fresh sage (finely chopped)
  • Meat substitute mince (leave out if vegan)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 500g cooked beetroot
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 limes (juice and zest)
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint (finely chopped)

1. Place the beetroot, caster sugar and lime zest in a pan and cook for around 30 minutes. Set aside for later and allow to chill.

2. Prepare all of the other ingredients as directed in the list and set aside.

3. Heat the olive oil slightly then cook onion and garlic gently for around 5 minutes taking care not to burn them.

4. Stir in the sugar, basil, sage, parsley, chilli, red peppers, tomato puree, black pepper, artichoke and (if applicable) meat substitute mince. Ensure the ingredients are all combined together.

5. Mixed in the chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil then reduce the heat allowing the pan to simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

6. Whilst the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta as directed in a pan of boiling water with a little olive oil and rock salt (to prevent sticking).

7. Also around 15 minutes into the simmering, place the ice, lime juice, beetroot mixture and mint into a blender and blend to taste. The more rough the granita, the more authentic to the west of Italy it is and the more smooth the granita, the more authentic to the east of Italy it is.

8. Place the pasta into the sauce mix and ensure it is all covered by the sauce.

9. Serve the pasta and sauce on a plate and the granita in a small (preferably cooled) glass.

10. Serve and enjoy!



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