The Best Pasta Pomodoro

Pasta Pomodoro

Even though I’m admittedly not a fan of raw tomatoes, I love them when cooked. One of the sweetest and brightest types are cherry (or grape) tomatoes. Whether you have a garden and grow your own, or go to the market to get them, we are going to make use of fresh cherry or grape tomatoes where they’e combined with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to becomes a refreshingly sweet and savory pomodoro sauce. Think of it as a lighter, less dense marinara. I use angel hair for this pasta pomodoro, but any type of pasta you enjoy will do just fine! This recipe is also in my five ingredients sauces chapter of my Pastabilities cookbook.

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The Best Pasta Pomodoro

Boil The Water

Pot of water halfway filled on stove
Begin by placing an 8-quart pot on the stove and fill it up halfway with water (so, 4 quarts). Set the heat to high and allow it to come to a rolling boil.

Start The Sauce

Adding olive oil to sauté pan on stove
As the water is coming to a boil, add some extra-virgin olive oil to a 4.5- to 5-quart sauté pan on the stove and set to medium-high heat.
Cherry tomatoes that are halved added to pan
Once the oil’s heated, add in some halved cherry or grape tomatoes (any variety or color of these types of tiny tomatoes will do fine).
Garlic added to pan
Follow that up with some garlic (because, of course we will)…
Seasoned salt and pepper added to pan
…an some seasoned salt (or regular salt) and pepper.
Sautéing everything in the pan
As you sauté everything together, the tomatoes will begin to release their juices.
Covering pan with a lid
After a few minutes of sautéing everything in the pan, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan with a lid and allow it to simmer for a few more minutes.

Cook The Pasta

Adding salt to pot of boiling water
By now, the water in your pot should be boiling! Add in some salt and reduce the heat to medium (which will prevent spillover once the pasta is added and will cook it just as quickly and properly).
Adding angel hair pasta to pot of salted boiling water
It’s time to add the pasta! I’m taking the boxed stuff (and you can go as value brand as you’d like). Add the entire box of pasta to the pot of hot water.
Stirring pasta in pot
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions for “al dente” or whatever the shortest suggested time is, stirring occasionally as it cooks.
Returning to the sauté pan and sautéing and pressing down on the tomatoes as they continue to burst and simmer and become saucy.
As the pasta cooks, check on the sauce by removing the lid on the pan. Using a wooden spatula or mixing spoon, press down on the tomatoes to help them burst a bit as it really becomes a beautiful pomodoro sauce. Turn the heat off the stove and if the pasta isn’t done yet, just cover the pan with a lid until it is.
Checking on pasta to ensure it's cooked.
Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, strain it through a colander in the sink but do not rinse! We want to keep the starch on the pasta.

Marry It All

Adding cooked and drained pasta to the pan with the sauce
Add the cooked and drained pasta to the pan with the pomodoro sauce.
Using tongs to toss pasta with sauce
Using tongs or a pair of salad tossers, toss the pasta in with the sauce…
Pasta and sauce are fully tossed in pan
…until it’s fully coated.
Plated Pasta Pomodoro
We’re jsut about ready to eat! Plate some up…
Plated pasta topped with some grated Parmesan and fresh chopped basil.
…feeling free to top it with some freshly chopped basil and/or grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.

The Taste Test

Man holding plate of pasta
Now look what you’ve done! A simple, light and refreshing pasta made in minutes!
Man twirling pasta around his fork
Give it the ole twirl ’round the fork (use a spoon to support your twirl if you want to be more fancy and for a cleaner bite)…
Man eating pasta
…take a bit (or slurp) of the pasta…
Man giving hand gesture to show his approval
…and folks, this is all it takes to have one of the simplest and spectacular pastas you’ll ever devour. Goes great with my garlic bread!
Yield: 6

The Best Pasta Pomodoro

The Best Pasta Pomodoro

Even though I'm admittedly not a fan of raw tomatoes, I love them when cooked. One of the sweetest and brightest types are cherry (or grape) tomatoes. Whether you have a garden and grow your own, or go to the market to get them, we are going to make use of fresh cherry or grape tomatoes where they'e combined with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to becomes a refreshingly sweet and savory pomodoro sauce. Think of it as a lighter, less dense marinara. I use angel hair for this pasta pomodoro, but any type of pasta you enjoy will do just fine! This recipe is also in my five ingredients sauces chapter of my Pastabilities cookbook.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

The Pasta

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound angel hair or medium shells (or any pasta you prefer)

The Sauce

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 9 cloves (3 tablespoons) garlic, crushed or pressed

Optional Toppings

  • Chopped fresh basil
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Boil the Water: Gill an 8-quart pot halfway with tap water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
  2. Start the Sauce: Heat the oil in a 4.5- to 5-quart sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the tomatoes, seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic and sauté in the oil for 2 minutes.
  3. Cook the Pasta: Add the salt to the pot of boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. Add the pasta and stir. Set a timer to cook until al dente (per the package instructions), or to the shortest amount of time given. When done, drain the pasta in a colander in the sink without rinsing it.
  4. While the pasta's cooking, return to the sauté pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pan with a lid and let simmer for 6-8 minutes. As the tomatoes simmer in the covered pan, they'll begin to soften and release their juices into a sauce! Check on them occasionally by removing the lid and giving them a stir. While stirring, lightly press on them with a wooden spatula. Once a chunky, light sauce is formed, loaded with the skins of the tomatoes, it's done. Turn the heat off. If the sauce is done before the pasta's done cooking, cover the pan with a lid until it's ready.
  5. Marry It All: Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauté pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Serve immediately topped with the optional chopped basil and grated cheese, if desired. Goes great with my garlic bread!

Jeffrey's Tips

The sauce is the right amount for 1 pound of pasta as written because it is meant to be light, yet loaded with a refeeshingly sweet and savory flavor. However, if you want it extra saucy, double up on the sauce ingredients and cook as written (with perhaps a few extra minutes of simmering due to the additional amount of tomatoes).

For a really indulgent and rich touch: While tossing the pasta and sauce in Step 5, add the soft inside of a ball of buratta or 4 ounces (1 cup) thinly siced mozzarella and toss until melty and stretchy.

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