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Spaghetti Pomodoro

Enjoy this simple, flavorful food for the soul. 'Pomodoro' means tomato in Italian, and that’s what this dish is - a fresh tomato sauce with basil, garlic, onion, and olive oil.

Spaghetti Pomodoro

1 Tbsp salt

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced

1 lb fresh tomatoes, halved or chopped (I use garden cherry tomatoes if in season or Roma tomatoes are a good choice)

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

3 basil sprigs, divided

1 lb. spaghetti

1 cup Parmesan, finely grated, divided

1 Tbsp butter


Heat medium-size Dutch Oven or large skillet over medium heat then add extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Once hot, add chopped onion then saute until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add fresh garlic and saute until golden but not brown, another 30 seconds. 

Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan with a pinch of sugar then simmer on medium-low for 20-25 minutes. Stir and press the tomatoes against the bottom and sides of the pan to make saucier. If sauce begins to pop too much, turn down even further. (If sauce starts to thicken too much add pasta water as needed.)

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta and season generously with salt.

When sauce is almost ready, add fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces, plus butter, remaining salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Add more salt to taste if needed.

Cook the pasta until it’s just shy of al dente then transfer it to the sauce pot with tongs to finish cooking directly in the sauce. Add splashes of pasta water if needed to cook pasta all the way and to keep it saucy.

Toss pasta and sauce with 1/2 Parmesan cheese. Serve in pasta bowls and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Garnish with fresh basil.