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Pasta Pomodoro Recipe

This Pasta Pomodoro is a delicious dish that is fresh, filling, and bursting with great flavors. The hot buttered pasta and thick sauce made with garlic and fresh basil are easy to make and will surely become a family favorite.

For other scrumptious Italian recipes, try our Shrimp Alfredo Pasta and this Margherita Pizza.

Recipe Details

Pasta Pomodoro is one of my favorite pasta dishes. I just love the flavors and smooth texture of this sauce. This dish is easy, tasty, and satisfying – you’re going to love it!

  • TASTE: This sauce has a mix of sweet tomatoes, pungent garlic, and fresh basil. And the pasta is full of rich butter and salty Parmesan cheese.
  • TEXTURE: The pomodoro sauce is thick and smooth, coating the al dente pasta perfectly.
  • TIME: It takes about 30 minutes to make.
  • EASE: This is an easy recipe to make. The sauce uses only a handful of ingredients and it can be made ahead of time for convenience.

What You’ll Need

Ingredients for Pasta Pomodoro: basil, butter, sugar, salt, whole peeled tomatoes, spaghetti, olive oil, Parmesan, onion, and garlic.

Ingredient Notes

  • Whole peeled canned tomatoes- These are processed until smooth, which is made easier because they’re peeled. Tomato skins would not break down as well.
  • Basil- Dried basil can add some flavor, but fresh herbs will really punch up the flavor in this sauce.
  • Sugar- Adding a little sugar to the sauce will cut the acidity of the tomatoes and balance out the flavors.

Add-ins and Substitutions

  • Use a different pasta- Spaghetti, angel hair, linguine, fettucine, penne, bowtie, or even gluten-free pasta can be used.
  • Add some heat- Add red pepper flakes to this sauce for a little spiciness.
  • Substitute fresh tomatoes- Fresh San Marzano tomatoes can be used in place of the canned peeled tomatoes for this sauce.
  • Make it dairy-free- Plant-based butter and Parmesan cheese can be used to make this dish dairy-free and vegan.

How to Make Pasta Pomodoro

  • Prep the onion and garlic. Chop half a yellow onion and mince the garlic cloves.
  • Cook them. Place the minced garlic and onion in a pan with extra virgin olive oil. Over medium heat, stir the ingredients until the onion turns translucent.
  • Blend the tomatoes. In a blender, pulse the whole peeled tomatoes until they are pureed, about 5 pulses.
Steps to make Pasta Pomodoro: cook the garlic and onion, then puree the tomatoes.
  • Add the tomatoes. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and stir over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Season the sauce. Add the sugar, salt, and basil leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Pro Tip: Don’t overcook the sauce. We want to only cook it long enough to marry the flavors and let them release their best flavors, but too much will ruin it.

Steps to make Pasta Pomodoro: add the tomatoes to the garlic and onion in the pan, then add in the sugar, salt, and basil.
  • Make the pasta. Cook the spaghetti in salted water, drain, and toss with unsalted butter.
  • Plate the Pasta. Add the pasta to the Pomodoro sauce and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Then serve.
Steps to make Pasta Pomodoro: add butter to the cooked spaghetti, then add it all to the pomodoro sauce and stir with tongs.

Recipe Tips

  • Cook the garlic and onion well- These two ingredients with the basil provide such a fragrant and tasty sauce. Let them cook enough to release all their sweet, pungent flavor.
  • Cook the pasta al dente- This is a thick sauce and you don’t want the pasta to be mushy under the weight of it.
  • Don’t rinse the pasta- Doing this will wash away the starch that is on the noodles, making it hard for the sauce to stick to it.
  • Add butter to the pasta- We don’t use much, but it goes a long way to giving this Pasta Pomodoro a delicious buttery richness.
Plate of Pasta Pomodoro with a fork and basil leaves, and Parmesan cheese and basil in the background.

FAQs

What is the difference between pomodoro and marinara pasta?

Pomodoro sauce and marinara have some similarities, but pomodoro tends to be thicker with pureed whole tomatoes as its base, while marinara is usually made with red pepper flakes and oregano and has a thinner consistency.

Can I add this sauce to pizza?

Yes, you can. While Pomodoro sauce is thicker than marinara sauce, it tastes delicious on pizza and flatbreads.

Pan of Pasta Pomodoro with a fork twirling the pasta and basil leaves on top and to the side.

Serving Suggestions

This Pasta Pomodoro recipe is great with so many other dishes. Its versatility makes it ideal to serve with appetizers, breads, and topped with proteins.

  • Breads: Serve this with Garlic Cheese Bread, Focaccia Bread, Rustic Bread (overnight), or Copycat Pizza Hut Breadsticks.
  • Salads: This Pasta Pomodoro is delicious with an Antipasto Salad, Caprese Salad, Smoked Salmon Salad, or Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad.
  • Appetizers: Start the meal with some Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings, Smoked Salmon Appetizer (VIDEO), Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, or Eggplant Roll-ups.
  • Meats/Seafood: Top this Pasta Pomodoro with some Baked Shrimp, Juicy Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Homemade Meatballs, or Panko Crusted Salmon.

Make This Recipe in Advance

Make ahead: Prepare the pomodoro sauce a few days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Storing: To store your Pasta Pomodoro, place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for up to a week. To reheat it, place the leftover pasta and sauce in a pan and warm over medium heat, stirring often. Add some extra sauce since pasta tends to absorb sauce in the refrigerator. You can also reheat this in the microwave for a few minutes.

Freeze: You can freeze the sauce for a 3-4 months in ziplock freezer bags, then defrost it before adding it to fresh pasta.

More Tasty Italian Dishes!

  • Easy Pasta Primavera
  • Lobster Ravioli
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Full Recipe Instructions

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Easy Pasta Pomodoro

This Pasta Pomodoro is easy to make & tastes amazing. Hot buttered pasta tossed with fresh pomodoro sauce & Parmesan cheese, it’s delicious!

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 423kcal
Author: Dina

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • “`html
    Kosher salt to taste
  • About 5 basil leaves
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti 
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 

Instructions

  • Add 1/2 small chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves to a pan filled with 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
  • Stir the onion and garlic until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Now add 1 (28 oz) can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes into a blender and pulse it about 5 times.
    Steps to make Pasta Pomodoro: cook the garlic and onion, then puree the tomatoes.
  • Now add the puréed tomatoes to the pan and stir over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Now add 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 5 chopped basil leaves. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
    Steps to make Pasta Pomodoro: add the tomatoes to the garlic and onion in the pan, then add in the sugar, salt, and basil.
  • In the meantime, cook 1/2 pound of spaghetti pasta in salted water.
  • Once it’s cooked, drain the water and toss in with about 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  • Add the pasta to the Pomodoro sauce along with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan.
    Steps to make Pasta Pomodoro: add butter to the cooked spaghetti, then add it all to the pomodoro sauce and stir with tongs.

Nutrition

Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g
“` | Protein: 9g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 289mg | Potassium: 520mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg

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