Spaghetti al Pomodoro

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.

Watch the Spaghetti al Pomodoro Video Recipe:

How to make Spaghetti al Pomodoro like an Italian

tomato spaghetti

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 with tomato sauce

Spaghetti al Pomodoro

Vincenzo's Plate
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • Cutting board
  • knife
  • Large saucepan
  • Garlic press
  • wooden spoon
  • Tongs to remove cooked basil
  • Blender
  • 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!


Keyword delicious pasta, Easy Homemade Pasta, Family Favourite, Fresh Pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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.

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10 Responses to Spaghetti al Pomodoro

  1. Dmytro June 7, 2023 at 11:10 PM #

    In video you say that all is done in 10 minutes, but it takes at least 10 minutes to boil the water, and another 13 minutes to cook the pasta.

    • Vincenzo's Plate June 10, 2023 at 3:33 AM #

      I apologize for the oversight in my video where I mentioned that the entire spaghetti pomodoro recipe could be done in 10 minutes. I should have clarified that the cooking time for the pasta itself can take around 10-13 minutes, depending on the type and brand.

      I hope that despite the clarification, you were able to enjoy the flavors of the spaghetti pomodoro recipe. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, please feel free to let me know. Happy cooking!

  2. Pranjul Awasthi November 4, 2023 at 5:12 AM #

    The technique is good to execute. The only thing that I might try to improve next time is either deseed the tomatoes (which is gonna be hard) or cook them a little longer to get rid of there flavor. +Q: can I use Parmesan instead of pecorino

    • Vincenzo's Plate November 8, 2023 at 7:04 PM #

      I’m glad to hear that you found the technique useful for making spaghetti al pomodoro! Adjusting the tomatoes to your taste is a great idea. You can try deseeding them or cooking them longer if you prefer a smoother sauce or milder flavor. As for the cheese, while Pecorino adds a unique taste, Parmesan can be a suitable substitute if that’s what you have on hand. It will still bring a delicious cheesy element to your dish. Enjoy your spaghetti al pomodoro, and feel free to make it your own! 🍝🧀😊

  3. Christian November 15, 2023 at 6:03 AM #

    5 stars
    If there are no good flavoured cherry tomatoes available, what would be the best option? In the table you write peeled tomatoes but what about passata or strained/sieved tomatoes? I often find that those have stronger flavour.

    • Vincenzo's Plate November 17, 2023 at 7:42 PM #

      Great question! If you can’t find flavorful cherry tomatoes, passata or strained tomatoes are excellent alternatives. They can indeed provide a robust flavor to your spaghetti pomodoro. It’s all about finding what works best for your taste buds. Happy cooking, and feel free to experiment with different tomato options!

  4. Ryan November 25, 2023 at 9:14 PM #

    5 stars
    Vincenzo, last week I made the carbonara (which was fabulous), so this week I made the pomodoro sauce.
    What a winner! Here in korea the tomatoes taste like “la cacca” so I was worried about trying this one. I can only imagine how this would taste with some great tomatoes. Must be fantastic. The sauce was lovely, so simple yet tasty. I will make this one again and again. My wife and family loved it too. Thanks Vincenzo!!

    • Vincenzo's Plate November 27, 2023 at 6:38 PM #

      I’m thrilled the recipe worked its magic. Imagine the flavors with top-notch tomatoes! Grazie for sharing your experience, and I’m so glad your family loved it too. Happy cooking in Korea!

  5. Fijs November 27, 2023 at 3:48 AM #

    5 stars
    Made your recipe today and we loved it. The kid’s don’t want pastasaus from the supermarket anymore.
    Thank you!

    • Vincenzo's Plate November 27, 2023 at 6:35 PM #

      Say goodbye to the supermarket aisles and hello to homemade deliciousness!Grazie for trying my recipe!

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