How to Make Spaghetti al Pomodoro
Spaghetti al Pomodoro translates to spaghetti with tomato sauce. It’s a classic Italian dish that I love creating when I’m short on time but I still want to be transported to Nonna’s house. This 15-minute recipe produces the most flavor-rich sauce and the key is using fresh, ripe tomatoes and aromatic basil.
If you can believe it, tomatoes weren’t mixed into pasta until the 1800s! Before that, pasta was eaten plain or only with cheese. I love eating it both ways but once you try this dish you might even prefer it over slow cooked sauce. Let me know what is your favourite 15-minute pasta recipe.
Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Spaghetti al Pomodoro
Keep it away from burning!
Cook the crushed garlic for only 30 sec; otherwise, it will burn – if it starts to, just slowly add a small amount of water.
Just be gentle
To help the juices come out of the tomatoes, press on them with a spoon. You want to be gentle with the skin – it’s the secret ingredient for a creamier sauce.
NOT on the board
Avoid chopping the basil on a cutting board, or you’ll lose all the flavors.
Spaghetti al Pomodoro
- Cutting board
- Large saucepan
- Garlic press
- wooden spoon
- Tongs to remove cooked basil
- large pot
- 300 grams Thick Squared spaghetti 10.5oz
- 400 grams Cherry tomatoes or 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes 14oz. Or 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
- Bunch of Fresh Basil
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil EVOO + extra for topping
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 tbsp Rock salt for pasta water
- Pecorino Romano Cheese optional
- You can’t make tomato sauce without tomatoes! Start your spaghetti al pomodoro by slicing the cherry tomatoes in half after removing the vine.
- Pour the EVOO in a large cooking pan before adding crushed garlic. Don’t miss out on extra flavor by forgetting to scrape the garlic press.
- Next, cut your cherry tomatoes in half and add them into the pan with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Cook the tomatoes on medium-low heat until you see the juices come out, stirring continuously.
- Break the basil (stalk included!) into pieces, add it to the pan, and stir to infuse the flavor.
- The longer you cook the tomatoes, the more juice you'll see. After ten or so minutes, remove the basil pieces from the pan and add the mixture to a blender.
- Pulse the sauce for about three seconds – it's essential to blend gently and quickly.
- Add rock salt into a large pot with 5L of boiling water before twisting and dropping the pasta in. You might need to lightly push the pasta into the water with a spoon.
- For al dente pasta, cook for 13 minutes or according to exact package directions – don’t throw it against the wall or on your ceiling!
- While the pasta is cooking, add the blended sauce back into the pan on low heat.
- Break small pieces of fresh basil leaves into the sauce for an even stronger basil taste, stirring occasionally.
- Make sure to stir, stir, stir! At the point the pasta is almost cooked, collect a mug full of pasta cooking water.
- Next add the pasta using tongs into the saucepan – it's okay if some water goes in as well. Mix it through ensuring the sauce coats the pasta evenly.
- Use your extra pasta water and add a small amount into the pan. Toss the spaghetti al pomodoro pasta – if you can!
- The finishing touch is a drizzle of EVOO and fresh basil. If you’re a cheese lover – add in some Pecorino Romano and give a final toss with the pasta.
- E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’sPlate….Enjoy!
How To Serve Spaghetti al Pomodoro
Use your tongs to grab the perfect portion of creamy, sauce-covered spaghetti and place it in the middle of a plate or pasta serving bowl. You can see how important it is to ensure the pasta is mixed with the other ingredients when serving. Top the pasta with a spoonful of sauce and add even more fresh basil. If you can’t get enough cheese – add some freshly grated Pecorino Parmigiano on top.