Over the years, I’ve learned that Spaghetti is not Spaghetti, is not Spaghetti. The rich, and wonderful tomato sauce that my mom made us growing up, is closest to a Bolognese sauce. On the much lighter, faster, and easier to cook end of the spectrum is a Pomodoro sauce. Pomodoro is meant to be a fast and easy tomato sauce with a relatively few, fresh ingredients. This recipe has the benefit of only taking about an hour to make, it's great tossed with all kinds of pasta, and even as a sauce for chicken, fish or veggies. Enjoy it!
spaghetti pomodoro Recipe Overview & Keys to Success
To make the best Spaghetti Pomodoro, just make sure to do the following:
- As with any pasta dish, make sure to cook the spaghetti al dente. I like to start tasting the pasta about 2 minutes before the package suggests, and remove when perfect
- Use whole plum tomatoes that you lightly crush by hand. That gives the sauce a nice chunky texture
- Make sure to use fresh basil, nothing out of a jar
- Taste and season as you go. Salt and pepper most importantly. But you may want to add a pinch of sugar at the end if you find the sauce is too bitter or acidic
- 1/4 lbs of spaghetti per person
- 2 32 ounce can of whole roma (plum) tomatoes
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 – 3 tablespoons Sugar (optional)
- Start by making the Pomodoro sauce
- Dice the onion and the garlic
- Heat a pot or high sided sauté pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan and season with salt and pepper
- Stir occasionally and allow to sauté until the onion becomes translucent
- While the onions sauté, empty the tomatoes into a bowl, and crush them with your hands, breaking up the tomatoes into smaller pieces
- Once the onions are cooked, add the tomatoes to the pan, and stir everything together; season again with salt and pepper
- Coarsely chop the basil leaves (1/4 - 1/2 cup), and add to the tomatoes, again stirring together
- Cover and cook for 30 minutes to an hour
- If you find the sauce too thin, uncover and continue to simmer, which will reduce and thicken the sauce. To thick, you can add some water.
- Once the sauce is done, bring a large pot of water to the boil and salt the water liberally
- Drop the spaghetti, and stir every couple minutes to prevent sticking
- Taste the spaghetti a couple minutes before the package directions, and remove once it’s al dente, reserving some of the pasta water in a separate bowl
- Transfer some of the pomodoro sauce into another sauté pan, over high heat
- Add the cooked spaghetti, tossing it together with the sauce for 3 – 4 minutes
- Turn off the heat and drizzle some additional olive oil and parmesan cheese over the top
- Stir together, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. If it’s too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water.
Spaghetti Pomodoro is a perfect combination of tomato and basil, a classic Italian combination, and I recommend a classic Italian Wine – Chianti. Food and wine that come from the same regions frequently go really well together and that is certainly the case here. No need to spend a bundle either…a simple Chianti will do very nicely.