This delicious Pasta Pomodoro 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.
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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: Thick and smooth, this pomodoro sauce is delicious. It coats 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
- Whole peeled canned tomatoes- We’ll be processing these until smooth, which is made easier because they’re peeled. Tomato skins would not break down as well.
- Basil- In a pinch, 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- I used spaghetti, but you can also use angel hair, linguine, fettucine, penne, bowtie, or even gluten-free pasta.
- Add some heat- Add some red pepper flakes to this sauce for a little spiciness.
- Substitute fresh tomatoes- In place of the canned peeled tomatoes, you can use fresh San Marzano tomatoes for this sauce.
- Make it dairy-free- Using plant-based butter and Parmesan cheese will 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.
- 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.
- Make the pasta. In the meantime, cook the spaghetti in salted water, drain, and toss with the unsalted butter.
- Plate the Pasta. Add the pasta to the Pomodoro sauce and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Then serve.
- 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.
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.
Yes, you can. While Pomodoro sauce is thicker than marinara sauce, it tastes delicious on pizza and flatbreads.
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.
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Full Recipe Instructions
Easy Pasta Pomodoro
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.