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When the craving strikes, nothing quite beats fresh pasta with a simple fresh tomato sauce. Here's a simple and delicious version from Lugo Caffé, located near Madison Square Garden in New York City. This restaurant specializes in homemade pasta, so be sure to give this recipe a try.
For the dough
- 1/2 Pound "00" flour
- 1/2 Pound semolina flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Teaspoons salt
For the sauce
- 2 Teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 head garlic, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped finely
- 1 1/2 Cup basil, chopped finely
- 6 ripe tomatoes, quartered
- One 12-ounce can Roma tomatoes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the spaghetti pomodoro
- Salt, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 Ounce Parmesan, grated
- 1 basil leaf, julienned
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Calories Per Serving704
Folate equivalent (total)124µg31%
Spaghetti Pomodoro Recipe (Pasta in Tomato Basil Sauce)
Spaghetti Pomodoro Recipe is also known as Pasta that is tossed in Tomato Basil Sauce and spiked with Parmesan cheese. Pomodoro in Italian means a sauce made from tomatoes. This pasta recipe is simple to make that is bursting with flavors from the tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil. It has a short cooking time and when you have a pomodoro sauce ready, your weeknight dinner for family would be ready in minutes. Serve Spaghetti Pomodoro Recipe (Pasta in Tomato Basil Sauce) along with Fresh Garden Salad Recipe.
If you like this recipe, try more recipes like
Recipe: Delfina's Spaghetti Pomodoro
Delfina&rsquos signature spaghetti is still on the menu after decades, and it serves as a delicious reminder that if there&rsquos one thing that&rsquos certain, pasta &mdash and Italian food &mdash will never go out of style.
Serves 4 to 5
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole plum tomatoes (such as Di Napoli)
5 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Hot red pepper flakes, to taste
Leaves from ½ bunch fresh basil
1 pound high-quality durum wheat spaghetti (such as Rustichella d&rsquoAbruzzo)
1½ ounces &ldquofinishing&rdquo (flavorful, high-quality) extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Instructions: Remove the tomatoes from the can, one at a time. Break each one open and scrape out the seeds with your hand, allowing the juice and seeds to fall back into the can. Drop the seeded tomatoes into a bowl.
When all of the tomatoes are seeded, break them up with your hands and strain the juice from the cans back over them. Pour 3 cups of water into the cans, then pour that through the strainer into the bowl with the tomatoes.
Place the garlic cloves on a cutting board. Smash each one with the side of a chef&rsquos knife and smear it slightly with a sprinkling of kosher salt.
Scrape the smashed garlic and salt into an 8-quart heavy-bottom pot. Add the olive oil, set over medium-low heat, cover and stew slowly until the garlic is soft and melted in texture but not browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes along with their juice and the water to the pot. Season with some salt, pepper and a touch of hot red pepper flakes. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, skimming the foam but not the oil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until the oil has emulsified with the rest of the ingredients and the sauce has reduced by approximately two-thirds, about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 2/3 of the basil leaves. You should have about 5 cups of sauce.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes &mdash it will not be cooked through. Drain and reserve a coffee mug (8 to 12 ounces) full of the pasta cooking water.
Ladle about 3 cups of the sauce into the pasta pot. (Save the remaining 2 cups for another use.) Add the partially cooked pasta to the sauce, along with about 8 ounces of the pasta cooking water and bring to a boil. Continue to cook rapidly for approximately 7 more minutes, tossing and stirring to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add more pasta water if the pasta needs to cook a little more.
This process allows the pasta to absorb some of the sauce. Additionally, the pasta releases starch, which thickens the sauce and helps it cling to the pasta. This way it doesn&rsquot run off of the spaghetti and sit on the bottom of the bowl. The last bite of pasta should bring the last bit of sauce with it.
Adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste, and drizzle with the finishing extra virgin olive oil. Roughly tear the remaining basil leaves and toss them in.
Divide among the serving plates, and top with lots of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Capellini Pasta vs Spaghetti
Sometimes when I stand in the pasta aisle, I am amazed at all of the different varieties available. There are different shapes, different sizes and different colors. For this dish you’re going to want to use a rod shaped pasta.
Rod shaped pastas are usually long pastas. And, to make things extra confusing, there are different thicknesses. From bucatini which is a thick to Angel Hair which is the thinnest. And traditional spaghetti falls somewhere in the middle. Most often, pasta pomodoro is made with capellini or angel hair pasta but any rod shaped pasta will do.
I would avoid the flat pastas like fettuccine or linguine and save those for use with heartier sauces.
Spaghetti Pomodoro MICHAEL SYMON
1/4 cup olive oil (plus additional, to garnish)
1 small onion (peeled, finely diced)
2 cloves garlic (peeled, minced)
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes (hand crushed)
bundle fresh oregano
1 pound spaghetti
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 cup whole basil leaves (to garnish)
parmesan (to serve)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Place a medium saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, season with salt, and stir occasionally until the vegetables soften, about 8-10 minutes. Add the chili flakes and tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Tie the oregano with butcher’s twine and add it to the sauce. Reduce to a simmer and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package instructions. Remove the herb bundle from the sauce. Drain pasta and place in sauce. Toss pasta in sauce to coat using 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Add butter, basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss pasta until fully coated and glossy. Serve with freshly grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
Tip: Have fresh tomatoes? Blanch them and peel them as a delicious substitute for canned tomatoes!
Lo Spaghetto al Pomodoro di Eataly
If someone in a culinary Rorschach test asked what image springs to mind with the words “Italian food,” you would likely picture a bowl of spaghetti with tomato sauce. The most famous Italian recipe, lo spaghetto al pomodoro is made with just a few simple ingredients, tastes delicious, and is easy to make.
Still, sometimes it's difficult to be simple. Many Italians will judge a restaurant on its ability to make a good spaghetti al pomodoro. Here at Eataly, we wanted to make sure we created the very best version of lo spaghetto al pomodoro possible. So, our chefs in Italy spent months testing, tasting, and experimenting with different ingredients from our marketplace in order to create the perfect recipe.
Nota bene: While the recipe itself is simple, the ingredients are the star of this dish, especially the tomatoes! But don't take our word for it – taste the difference for yourself and try your hand at making it at home. You can find all the ingredients at your local Eataly or online.
Lo Spaghetto al Pomodoro di Eataly (Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce)
Recipe courtesy of Eataly
1 (17.6-ounce) package of Spaghetti di Gragnano IGP Carta Paglia by Afeltra
2 (12-ounce) jars of Così Com'è Whole Red Datterino Tomatoes, unpeeled in tomato juice
1/4 cup ROI Monocultivar Taggiasca Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for serving
1 1/2 teaspoons Sicilian Sale Integrale Sea Salt by Il Mercante di Spezie
3 to 4 sprigs fresh basil
Kosher salt, for cooking the pasta
Crush the tomatoes between your fingers, letting them fall into a saucepan. Stir in the tomato juices, olive oil, and season with the Sicilian sea salt to taste.
To cook the pasta, heat a large pot of water. When the water reaches a boil, add a palmful of kosher salt until the water is salty. Add the spaghetti and cook for 11 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pasta to the saucepan with the tomatoes.
Add half a cup of the pasta water and toss together everything over medium heat to combine for about 1 minute.
Divide spaghetti into four warmed bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and add a sprig of fresh basil. Serve immediately.
Don't feel like cooking? Eataly's lo spaghetto al pomodoro is now available at our La Pizza & La Pasta restaurants at Eataly Chicago, Eataly NYC Flatiron, Eataly NYC Downtown, and Eataly Boston!
From Carolina Diaz, 2018 Barilla Pasta World Championship Winner
- 2 pounds cherry tomatoes
1 cup fresh garlic, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small pepper, such as a serrano, diced
1/2 lemon skin, minced
1/2 cup basil
1 pound spaghetti
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Juice 1 pound cherry tomatoes reserve juice and pulp.
- Toss the other 1 pound of tomatoes in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste. Bake for 20 minutes. Once done, juice. Reserve pulp and juice.
- In a pot, heat up remaining extra virgin olive oil over medium-low heat.
- Add chopped garlic and allow to cook slowly until bright white.
- Add tomato pulp only.
- Allow to cook for 40 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Chop basil and add to tomato pulp.
- Add chopped lemon zest and chopped pepper.
- To finish, boil water and add a large handful of salt. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente.
- Toss pasta with the sauce and serve with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.
Travel and expenses for the author were provided by Barilla for the purpose of writing this story.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced small
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pinches red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 of a box (12 ounces) dried spaghetti pasta
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoon butter
- Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch deep-sided skillet over medium-low. Add in the onions and cook until soft and translucent.
- Add in the minced garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add a couple pinches of red pepper flakes and stir. Over the pan, crush the San Marzano tomatoes by hand and add in any juices from the can.
- Add a half cup of water to the can, swirl it around to loosen any sauce and then pour it into the pan.
- Season with a pinch of kosher salt, stir and cook, uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Add in the sliced basil, stir and then turn of the heat and remove the pan while preparing the pasta as directed on the package.
- Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a half cup of pasta liquid and drain the pasta in a colander. Return the pan to medium-high heat, pour in the half cup of the pasta water to loosen the sauce up a bit.
- Add in the drained pasta, the Parmesan cheese and the two tablespoons of butter. Toss the pasta with the sauce until the cheese and butter has melted.
- If making chicken sausage, add sliced, cooked sausage at this point.
- Stir and divide among bowls, top with more grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Nutrition information may not always be accurate.
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Blanch tomatoes and shock in ice water. Remove skin and discard. Deseed the tomatoes and strain the liquid from the seeds through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve the liquid. Discard the seeds.
Put peeled tomatoes, juice, and salt a large bowl. Mix the salt into the tomatoes and set aside.
Place garlic in a saucepot and cover with the olive oil. Cook over very low heat until garlic is golden and soft. Strain and reserve oil.
In a heavy bottom, large stockpot, add the infused garlic oil and chili flakes. Turn heat to low for about 2 minutes, slowly blooming the chili flakes.
Add the salted tomatoes and its liquid into the pot and turn heat to medium-high.
Bring to a slight boil and skim foam that rises to the top.
Lower heat to medium low, or until a simmer. Smash the tomatoes with a potato masher during the cooking. Cook till reduced by ¼, about 25 -30 minutes or so. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt.
Remove from heat and submerge basil to infuse in the sauce as it cools down.
Portion out cooked pasta and top with pomodoro sauce, 2 teaspoons butter, 2 tablespoons parmesan, basil leaves, olive oil and chili flakes.
Over the years, I’ve learned that Spaghetti is not Spaghetti, is not Spaghetti. The rich, and wonderful tomato sauce that my mom made us growing up, is closest to a Bolognese sauce. On the much lighter, faster, and easier to cook end of the spectrum is a Pomodoro sauce. Pomodoro is meant to be a fast and easy tomato sauce with a relatively few, fresh ingredients. This recipe has the benefit of only taking about an hour to make, it's great tossed with all kinds of pasta, and even as a sauce for chicken, fish or veggies. Enjoy it!
Spaghetti pomodoro Recipe Overview & Keys to Success
To make the best Spaghetti Pomodoro, just make sure to do the following:
- As with any pasta dish, make sure to cook the spaghetti al dente. I like to start tasting the pasta about 2 minutes before the package suggests, and remove when perfect
- Use whole plum tomatoes that you lightly crush by hand. That gives the sauce a nice chunky texture
- Make sure to use fresh basil, nothing out of a jar
- Taste and season as you go. Salt and pepper most importantly. But you may want to add a pinch of sugar at the end if you find the sauce is too bitter or acidic
- 1/4 lbs of spaghetti per person
- 2 32 ounce can of whole roma (plum) tomatoes
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 – 3 tablespoons Sugar (optional)
- Start by making the Pomodoro sauce
- Dice the onion and the garlic
- Heat a pot or high sided sauté pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan and season with salt and pepper
- Stir occasionally and allow to sauté until the onion becomes translucent
- While the onions sauté, empty the tomatoes into a bowl, and crush them with your hands, breaking up the tomatoes into smaller pieces
- Once the onions are cooked, add the tomatoes to the pan, and stir everything together season again with salt and pepper
- Coarsely chop the basil leaves (1/4 - 1/2 cup), and add to the tomatoes, again stirring together
- Cover and cook for 30 minutes to an hour
- If you find the sauce too thin, uncover and continue to simmer, which will reduce and thicken the sauce. To thick, you can add some water.
- Once the sauce is done, bring a large pot of water to the boil and salt the water liberally
- Drop the spaghetti, and stir every couple minutes to prevent sticking
- Taste the spaghetti a couple minutes before the package directions, and remove once it’s al dente, reserving some of the pasta water in a separate bowl
- Transfer some of the pomodoro sauce into another sauté pan, over high heat
- Add the cooked spaghetti, tossing it together with the sauce for 3 – 4 minutes
- Turn off the heat and drizzle some additional olive oil and parmesan cheese over the top
- Stir together, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. If it’s too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water.
Spaghetti Pomodoro is a perfect combination of tomato and basil, a classic Italian combination, and I recommend a classic Italian Wine – Chianti. Food and wine that come from the same regions frequently go really well together and that is certainly the case here. No need to spend a bundle either…a simple Chianti will do very nicely.