Pasta Pomodoro is a hands-down my family's favorite weeknight pasta! It's seriously quick and easy to make with the most simple ingredients. We all fight for seconds!
Pasta Pomodoro Recipe
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During the summer I try to get my fill of tomatoes while they're at their peak. There's something about the tomato/basil combination that is just so delicious. I think that is a fair statement to make on behalf of most people, considering how frequently you see this combination is at most restaurants. Even our local grocery store displays the tomatoes and basil together (with fresh mozzarella in the display as well. Marketing brilliance.).
To make this pomodoro pasta, you start the garlic in olive oil to release all those amazingly aromatic flavors. I add the basil at the end along with a generous scoop of Romano Cheese and a sprinkle of Crushed Red Pepper for a nice kick. It's funny, I come from a background that favors smooth tomato pasta sauce and this is anything but smooth. If you're looking for a smooth tomato sauce, my family's Marinara Sauce is pretty darn amazing and totally easy to make as well!
Spaghetti Pomodoro is one of those meals that gets rotated in quite frequently in our home, oftentimes due to J requesting it. There are a lot of avenues to take the recipe. I will sometimes saute some shrimp on the side to add to mine (I'd add them right in, but my picky husband is seafood averse). You could also add grilled chicken. I used to offer the chicken option to Justin but he would always say the dish didn't need it, which is pretty impressive coming from Mr. Meat-and-potatoes. I will generally serve it along side Texas Toast and if I'm not feeling too lazy, a green salad.
Tips for making Tomato Basil Pasta
- If possible, use fresh pasta- it cooks much faster and tastes great!
- You can make this with whatever noodles you prefer. We tend to stick to spaghetti or angel hair.
- While fresh tomatoes are preferable, if you don't have enough or they aren't in season (or you don't feel like doing all that chopping) you could always do half diced fresh tomatoes and then add a can of diced tomatoes. I always try to make sure to at least use some fresh tomatoes.
- If you're using fresh basil, add it at the end. I like to chiffonade it. If you're subbing in dried basil, you can add it a little earlier.
- Taste the sauce before adding the pasta and adjust the seasonings to your taste.
- 3-4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 5-6 large tomatoes, diced (you can also do half fresh and suppliment with a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes)
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- Romano cheese, to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves chiffonade
- 9 ounces Spaghetti or angel hair pasta (fresh if you can find it. Any other noodle of your choice works fine too)
- Cooked shrimp or chicken (optional)
- Start a large pot of water boiling for pasta.
- Heat the oil over medium high heat.
- Saute the pressed garlic until golden and fragrant (if it burns wash your pan and start over).
- Add diced tomatoes (and caned tomatoes if you're using those).
- Season liberally with salt and pepper (if you are a garlic lover you can always throw a little garlic powder in as well).
- Stir well to combine and let the sauce simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until it cooks down a bit, stirring periodically.
- Cook pasta according to package directions when the sauce is getting to the point that it's just about ready (or earlier if it's not fresh pasta since that takes longer).
- Add Romano cheese, crushed red pepper and basil to the sauce toward the end of the cooking time, stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Drain the pasta and combine it into the sauce in the saute pan (you would add your shrimp or chicken if you decide to add those at this time as well).
- Serve immediately with extra cheese and crushed red pepper on the side.
If you tried this recipe please comment and rate it 🙂 I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions!
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