The Perfect Pasta Pomodoro Recipe

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Your life is about to change. Before I reveal the secret to the perfect Pasta Pomodorodoro recipe, let me explain why it was so important to me to nail this classic dish.

I’m a people pleaser…and a perfectionist. This combination can actually be quite disastrous for me in the kitchen.

While I wish I could be one of those French girls who effortlessly whips their hair into to a loose French twist before whipping up something for her guests using only the ingredients in her pantry and of course no recipe, this is not me.

I’m a planner and a stressor. I read a recipe 5 times before I start and might be that girl who asks her boyfriend 17 times as he’s eating, “Are you sure you like it?” I’m working on it, though!

This is one of the reasons why I’ve always wanted to master an elegant yet simple recipe–one I could effortlessly whip up and have all my guests (my dog and boyfriend) be in awe of me.

It looks like I’ve found this in my favorite meal: Pasta a la Pomodoro.

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I’m not one to brag, but man! I have nailed the Perfect Pasta Pomodoro recipe. Rich, garlicky, with just a touch a sweetness, you’ll think you’re on vacation in Rome only to realize you’re really just sitting at home watching Monday night’s Bachelor.

I’ve tried to make the perfect Pomodoro recipe before, but it never had the right silky texture I found at my favorite restaurants, and it always tasted too “canned tomato-y.”

Now that I’ve finally nailed this recipe, however, I can assure you, the secret ingredient is BUTTER. Heavenly butter. Julia Child would be proud.

The pasta water trick you’ll see in the recipe is also KEY. Adding a little pasta water gives the sauce its heavenly smooth texture.

And without further ado, here is your new favorite recipe for the perfect pasta Pomodoro. Bon appetit!

The Perfect Pasta Pomodoro Recipe

The secret ingredient to this classic Pomodoro recipe is butter. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Skylar Harrison

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small-medium onion minced
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 28 oz can crushed and peeled tomatoes
  • 2 large springs fresh basil
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan and extra for topping
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat your olive oil.

  2. Add the minced onion and saute until soft. About 8 minutes. 

  3. Add the garlic and chili flakes and saute for another 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic. 

  4. Add the can of crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine. Season with salt. 

  5. Lower heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally. 

  6. Remove from heat add the basil. 

  7. Meanwhile, bring a generously salted pot of water to boil and add your spaghetti. 

  8. Cook until al dente and strain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! Don't forget your pasta water. 

  9. Remove the basil from your sauce. 

  10. Place the pan back on low-medium heat. Add your butter, stirring until melted.  

  11. Add your pasta to your sauce. Mix until all the pasta is coated. 

  12. Add your pasta water slowly, stirring as you go until you get the consistency you want. Note, you might not need the whole 1/2 cup. 

  13. Plate your pasta and top with parmesan cheese and a bit of basil  (chiffonade). 

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