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Pasta Pomodoro Is a simple pasta dish with a delicious tomato sauce, fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese. This quick and easy meal is a family favorite and a great weeknight dinner recipe.

Pasta Pomodoro

What is Pasta Pomodoro?

Pasta Pomodoro, don’t you just love saying that? I love saying it and eating it. It sounds fancy but it is SO easy. This easy pasta dish is one of my all-time favorites. We make this pasta at least twice a month. It is a weeknight dinner lifesaver.

Pomodoro means tomato in Italian so it’s basically pasta with tomato sauce. It is a classic Italian dish that is made with simple ingredients…and that is a GOOD thing! Sometimes simple is best and that is SO true about this dish.

Pasta Pomodoro Recipe


How Do You Make Pasta Pomodoro?

The key ingredients in Pasta Pomodoro are:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Pasta
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Butter

Very simple ingredients, that you probably always have on hand. YAY! I am telling you, this pasta recipe is a dinner lifesaver!

The Best Pasta Pomodoro

There are a few tips for making the BEST pasta pomodoro. I am all about sharing secrets, so I am going to tell. Don’t worry, if you do have a deep dark secret, I can keep a secret, I just don’ t like to:)

  • First, make sure you use quality ingredients. There aren’t very many ingredients so you want to make sure all of the ingredients are high quality.
  • We use canned tomatoes for this recipe, but ONLY San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes. They are the BEST canned tomatoes. Make sure you use them to get the best flavor for the tomato sauce.
  • Puree the tomatoes in a food processor or blender before you get started.
  • We use spaghetti, but you can use bucatini, angel hair, or fettuccini. We love DeLallo’s pasta!
  • Add a little crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce to give it a little kick. If the kids are going to eat it, you can leave them out, but our boys are fine with a little heat.
  • Make sure you reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water so you can add it back into the sauce. Don’t miss this step.
  • Add a little butter to the pasta at the end. You only need two tablespoons, but those two tablespoons make a big difference. The butter adds a richness to the pasta.
  • Don’t be skimpy with the fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Also, buy the GOOD Parmesan cheese for this recipe.

If you are looking for an easy weeknight dinner recipe, give Pasta Pomodoro a try! It is also a great recipe for easy entertaining. Serve a simple green salad and garlic bread on the side. Everyone loves this classic pasta dish!

If you like this Pasta Pomodoro recipe, try:

Easy Pasta Pomodoro

Pasta Pomodoro

This easy Italian pasta dish is a family favorite and easy to make at home. It is perfect for an easy weeknight meal or easy entertaining!

Yield: Serves 4-6

Prep Time:10 minutes

Cook Time:30 minutes

Total Time:40 minutes


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, puréed in a food processor or blender
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Extra basil and Parmesan, for garnish


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the puréed tomatoes and season with salt.
  2. Cook the sauce until it starts to thicken, stirring occasionally. This will take about 20 minutes. When the sauce has thickened, stir in the fresh basil.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. **Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.**
  4. Place the pasta back in the large pot, add the tomato sauce and hot pasta water. Stir until the sauce coats the pasta. Add butter and Parmesan cheese and toss until butter and cheese are melted. Plate the pasta and garnish with basil and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

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