Say goodbye to restaurant pasta mediocrity, and welcome this gorgeously bright, luxuriously creamy Pomodoro Sauce into your home. It yields that bold tomato flavor you’d expect from traditional Pasta al Pomodoro, but with a dreamy consistency perfect for decking out your favorite pasta!
Made with simple, flavorful ingredients like fresh tomatoes, basil, and cream and coming together in less than 30 minutes, you’ll find this dish works just as well for weeknight dinners as it does for entertaining!
ABOUT THE RECIPE
This recipe has the defining characteristics of a classic Pomodoro Sauce, quick-cooking and made with fresh tomatoes, only this one comes with an extra splash of decadence thanks to a little cream. The cream adds both body and texture, making for one decadently delicious bite.
Looking for a tomato sauce without the cream? You’ll love this quick and easy Homemade Marinara.
WHAT IS POMODORO SAUCE?
Pasta al Pomodoro literally translates to “pasta with tomato sauce.” So what is it? Simply put, it’s tomato sauce. Quick to make and rather light, you’ll find a traditional Pomodoro Sauce very similar to the flavor profile of marinara, with an almost identical ingredient list.
MARINARA VS. POMODORO SAUCE
The only real notable difference between these two is their time and place of origin. Marinara was born in Naples (possibly Sicily) in the 1600s, while Pasta al Pomodoro took off in the 1800s thanks to Neapolitan street salesman who used it to top off maccheroni pasta.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE IT
- Onions and Garlic
- Pasta Water
- Tomato Paste
- Heavy Cream
- Fresh Tomatoes
- Salt and Pepper
This recipe comes packed with flavor thanks to fresh ingredients like onions, garlic, tomatoes, and basil. These are all very traditional components of Pomodoro Sauce.
The addition of cream is on the not-so-traditional side of things, however, tomato paste keeps us from deviating too far from the norm. It adds a big bang of rich tomato flavor, staying [somewhat] in line with what Pasta al Pomodoro was meant to be.
This sauce was originally served over tubular-shaped noodles, and we see no reason to mess with a good thing. This shape of noodle allows for the sauce to cascade into the crevices and holes and actually stay put, making for an über flavorful bite with every forkful.
It’s Penne Pomodoro for the win, with penne being our pasta of choice, but you could also use rigatoni if you’d like. Other kinds of pasta that will work here are spaghetti, ravioli, and even farfalle.
HOW TO MAKE POMODORO SAUCE
- Cook the Pasta – Cook your pasta of choice according to package directions — do not discard of the pasta water! You’ll need a 3/4 cup on reserve for the sauce.
- Cook Onions and Garlic – Add the olive oil to a large sauté pan and allow it to come to temperature. Cook the onion until softened, then add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more.
- Add Remaining Ingredients and Simmer – Add the cream, pasta water, tomato paste, salt, and pepper to the pan and stir the mixture until the tomato paste is blended. Then, add the chopped tomatoes and basil and simmer for about 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
4 MORE PASTA RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
A quick and easy creamy Pomodoro Sauce Recipe that comes together in less than 30 minutes! Made with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, and cream.
- 2 1/2 cups dry pasta (such as penne or rigatoni)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes (seeds and pulp removed), diced
- 2 tablespoons julienned or minced basil
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Take care to reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
Add the olive to a large sauté pan over medium heat and allow to come to temperature. Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Add in the cream, 3/4 cup pasta water, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and stir until the tomato paste is evenly dispersed throughout the sauce. Then, add the fresh tomatoes and basil. Reduce the heat to maintain a light simmer and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cooked pasta, toss, and serve!