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Is there anything better than a bowl of Spaghetti Pomodoro? This Italian classic is quick and easy to make and the perfect family meal!
Whether served for dinner or lunch, Spaghetti al Pomodoro always tastes heavenly. This recipe is also excellent for Meal prep. You can warm it in a microwave in the office or in a small pot – give those mediocre lunch days no chance.
I often eat leftover pasta dishes for lunch. They are so satisfying!
What is Pomodoro Sauce?
Sugo di Pomodoro (Italian) or simply called Pomodoro sauce, is an aromatic cooked pasta sauce made with tomatoes. If you translate the Italian word Pomodoro into English, it means nothing else than TOMATO!
This pasta sauce is an Italian classic! Plus, it’s an easy recipe; you don’t need to be a seasoned cook to prepare this pasta dish. Cook tomatoes (preferably canned whole peeled tomatoes) with onion, garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil in a large pot, that’s it!
I love to add a few crushed red pepper flakes to enhance the flavor of this Pomodoro sauce. Not too much, you don’t want to turn this tomato sauce into a spicy sauce. The red pepper flakes should really only enhance the flavor!
If you don’t like crushed red pepper flakes or you don’t have some at hand, you can omit them – no problem at all!
To regulate the acidity of tomatoes, you should always add a pinch of sugar to tomato sauces.
After cooking this Pomodoro sauce for about 20 minutes, you will be rewarded with a thick juicy and aromatic tomato sauce. The sauce isn’t liquid like you know it from a mediocre “Italian” restaurant. It’s thick with chunky pieces of finest tomato, and it tastes excellent in combination with spaghetti!
Spaghetti al Pomodoro
Pasta Pomodoro, Penne Pomodoro or Spaghetti Pomodoro? Let me say that this sauce goes super well together with spaghetti. They have so much surface to soak up the sauce perfectly.
It is important to boil the spaghetti al dente, drain them and then add them to the pot with the cooked sauce – that’s where the real magic happens! Cook them together with the Pomodoro sauce for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
In this last minute, the spaghetti soaks up the sauce and will leave you with a wonderful sauce-sticky-spaghetti!
You might be used to mix the spaghetti and the sauce directly in the plate, but that’s wrong or simply not the Italian way. Trust me and try it out: Toss the spaghetti with the sauce directly in the hot pot! This last step makes a huge difference!
Are you not so much into spaghetti? Cook the sauce along with your favorite pasta.
Pasta Pomodoro Recipe – Let’s Cook
- Heat a large pot (I use my cast iron dutch oven for this), add olive oil, chopped onions, and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until translucent. If you like crushed red pepper flakes, add them now. This will create a wonderful aroma and turns the olive oil in a beautiful red.
- Add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil sprigs, red wine vinegar, and sugar.
- Pop on the lid and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes on low heat. You must stir the sauce occasionally. The sauce is ready as soon as it has thickened and the tomatoes have fallen apart. If the tomato chunks are still too large for your taste, simply crush them by using the back of a wooden spoon.
- Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water, bring it to a boil, add salt, add the spaghetti and cook them until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for about one minute.
- Serve your spaghetti Pomodoro with vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
Basil: Use dried basil if you don’t have fresh one at hand.
How long does it stay fresh? Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it keeps fresh for 3-4 days.
Can I replace canned whole peeled tomatoes? In my opinion, these are the star ingredients for the recipe. If you don’t have them at hand, you can replace them with tomato passata (finely strained tomatoes, canned) or a can diced tomatoes. But be aware that the recipe won’t taste exactly the same with those substitutes.
Why should I use canned tomatoes and not fresh ones? As the Michelin star chef Frank Rosin always says, tomatoes still ripen in the tin after they are canned and are therefore much more aromatic and sweeter than fresh tomatoes. Consequently, canned tomatoes are ideal for sauces.
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- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper, optional
- 1 x 14.5 oz can (400g) whole peeled tomatoes, or diced/crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper and roast for 3 minutes over medium heat.
- Stir in the tomatoes, basil, red wine vinegar, and sugar. Reduce the heat to low and pop on a lid. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes until the tomatoes have fallen apart.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Stir the drained pasta through the sauce. Sprinkle with the basil and serve with vegan parmesan.
- If the sauce gets too thick, add some pasta water.
- How long does it stay fresh? Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it keeps fresh for 3-4 days.
- Basil: I higly recommend using fresh basil for this recipe. However, if you are out of fresh basil, use dried basil or dried tyme instead.
- Can I replace canned whole peeled tomatoes? In my opinion, these are the star ingredients for the recipe. If you don’t have them at hand, you can replace them with tomato passata (finely strained tomatoes, canned) or a can diced tomatoes.