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5 from 2 votes

Pasta al Pomodoro

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Author: Pam


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼-½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 (28 oz) can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, puréed
    with an immersion blender
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of sugar, if needed
  • 3 large fresh basil sprigs
  • 12 oz spaghetti, cooked in salted water, per instructions
  • tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Fresh basil, for serving


  • Heat the olive oil in a small Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Add the blended can of tomatoes to the Dutch oven. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or when the sauce has thickened.
  • Remove from the heat. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste along with a pinch of sugar if it needs it.
  • Bury the whole sprigs of basil in the sauce and set aside to allow the flavors to mingle. 
  • Cook the spaghetti al dente in salted boiling water per package instructions. Drain the spaghetti, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. 
  • Discard the basil sprigs and return the Dutch oven to the stove over medium-high heat.
  • Add the drained pasta along with reserved pasta water, if needed, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and add butter and parmesan cheese; toss until cheese melts. 
  • Pour into the serving bowl and top with fresh basil. Serve immediately with additional fresh parmesan on the side.