Prep Time  25minutes
Cook Time  60minutes
Total Time  85minutes

Spaghetti Pomodoro

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:

  1. 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
  2. Use whole plum tomatoes that you lightly crush by hand. That gives the sauce a nice chunky texture
  3. Make sure to use fresh basil, nothing out of a jar
  4. 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
Ingredients (sauce for 8 – 9 servings)
  • 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)
Recipe for Spaghetti Pomodoro
  • 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.
Wine Recommendation

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.

Spaghetti Pomodoro

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