Pasta Pomodoro

By Maria Lichty

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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 ½ 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

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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!
4.83 from 69 votes


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. **Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.**
  • 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.


Calories: 375kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 458mg, Potassium: 420mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 365IU, Vitamin C: 15.1mg, Calcium: 111mg, Iron: 2.3mg
Keywords pasta pomodoro

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Pasta Pomodoro is a favorite pasta dish and easy to make at home! A great weeknight dinner! #pasta #vegetarian #dinner #easyrecipes #spaghetti #tomatosauce
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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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4.83 from 69 votes (53 ratings without comment)

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  1. You’re right, there’s nothing like a simple dish done well! So I’m definitely looking forward to trying this pasta pomodoro 🙂

  2. I agree San Marzano tomatoes make such a big difference. Especially in a dish like this were the tomato shines! Classic dinner, so simple and spectacular!

  3. 5 stars
    Just made this for dinner tonight and just might be my new favorite pasta dish!  The sauce has great flavor, and just a hint of spice from the red pepper flakes.  Absolutely delish!  Will be a staple in our house!  Thank you!!!

  4. 5 stars
    It looks so yum! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Love the secret for the best pasta pomodoro. Gonna try it soon.

  5. I’ve been looking for a good Pomodoro recipe, so I’m glad I stumbled onto this one. Will definitely be giving this a try!!

  6. SO yummy! Not only is this dish delicious but it was extremely easy to execute. The use of red pepper flakes really adds an extra punch. Such a simple recipe yet tastes so much more complex than just pasta and sauce.

  7. 5 stars
    I started making this a few months ago and it’s become a regular in my dinner rotation.  It’s so good and so easy.  Up until finding this recipe, most of my children, refused to eat spaghetti (they still won’t eat any other recipe) but this is a favorite of every child.  A hard spot to earn at my house. Thank you for making it so we can finally eat spaghetti. I can’t eat store bought sauce anymore though. 

  8. Hi I have a quick question, I hate eating anything out of the the can, can I just use the normal tomatoes ( good quality) and purée it? 

  9. 5 stars
    Not normally a fan of tomato pasta sauces (I’m firmly in camp pesto), but decided to try this last night and it was a hit! My fiancé and I really liked it! Thanks for changing our minds 😉
    Ps. I think this recipe would definitely be family-friendly so we’re going to make it next time we have our little nieces over too.

  10. 5 stars
    Looooooved this! Decided we’re doing all Two Peas and Their Pod vegetarian dinners this week. (We’re not vegetarians, but I wanted to give it a try) So happy we started with this one… my husband and two boys gobbled it up! and the garlic bread…. SO DELICIOUS! Thank you for sharing such delicious vegetarian meals! Tomorrow we’re trying your chickpea cauliflower tacos! Cant wait!

  11. 5 stars
    Hi, just made this tonight….so delicious and easy! San Marzano tomatoes are the best! Thanks for another great recipe!

  12. I made this for my family this week and it was a huge thumbs up all around! And that is very rare around here. So fresh and simple but so good!

  13. 5 stars
    My kids are super picky eaters. They loved this and so did we! Great meal for a spring night. Light yet filling. We love your recipes.

  14. What is the serving size for this dish , if I am using regular tomatoes how will I cook them in the recipie ?

    1. Sure, you might need to cook them down a little longer, just depends on how thick you want your sauce.

  15. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely amazing! Simple yet very flavorful. The pepper flakes were a delightful addition and I am completely impressed.

  16. Hi this recipe is a complete treat, i made this tonight everyone loved the taste and flavour, thank you for the recipe, i made it with fresh peeled tomatoes, to add a bit of more redness and perfect color i added few pcs of beetroot in the puree, the color turned out amazing, if there had been an option to post pics i would have shared it for sure.

  17. 5 stars
    I had not made pomodoro in a few years and came across this recipe. Delicious! For a twist, saute some Italian turkey sausage and add it to the sauce as it is condensing. The flavors are so awesome, I went back for thirds! Enjoy!

  18. 5 stars
    Perfect pomodoro sauce! I used more garlic because that is my personal preference but the recipe as it stands is delicious! Would definitely purée any form of canned tomatoes to ensure a smooth, consistent flavor in the sauce. I’ve already made it twice this week and will definitely make it again!

  19. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Blending the tomatoes, and the little bit of butter at the end really do make it so good! It was simple to make – but tasted really great and satisfying!