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Experience the delicious taste of Italy with this easy Pasta Pomodoro recipe. Cook the pasta and make a flavorful tomato sauce with shallots, garlic, and a hint of red pepper flakes. Top it off with melted parmesan cheese and fresh basil for a mouthwatering dish that will leave you wanting more!

Easy pasta dishes are so delicious and can be whipped up so fast! That’s why I love this pasta pomodoro recipe so much. Try more of my family’s favorites like this classic Cheesy Baked Ziti, this Easy Instant Pot Lasagna, and this delicious One Pot Chicken and Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo.

A bowl of pasta pomodoro with a fork in it.

What is Pasta Pomodoro?

Pasta Pomodoro is a classic Italian pasta that is quick, easy, and made with simple ingredients. Pomodoro translates to the word “tomato” in Italian, and this pasta and sauce is just that! I’ve even heard of this dish being called Pomodoro Pasta. Either way, it still means the same, and it is still DELICIOUS. Tender pasta topped with a tasty tomato sauce…the perfect Italian dish. You’ll love the sauce because it’s light and not too heavy.

Pasta dishes like this pasta pomodoro are great for weeknight dinners. And I LOVE a good pasta sauce! If you’re looking for more pasta sauces to try I recommend my wildly popular Alfredo sauce. I also love this healthier version of my Alfredo sauce because it tastes nearly identical. This Bolognese sauce is also an absolute must! Your family will love it!

What’s In Pasta Pomodoro?

This Pasta Pomodoro recipe is filled with perfect Italian flavors, making the taste delicious. Made with simple ingredients you will most likely have on hand so you can quickly make this pasta. The best recipes are the ones that I don’t have to make an extra trip to the store for! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact ingredient measurements.

  • Thin Spaghetti: I love thin spaghetti in this recipe, but you can use regular spaghetti if you prefer.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil for sauteeing the onions and garlic. I love extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe!
  • Shallots: Shallots are so delicious. I prefer shallots over onions in this recipe.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is a MUST!
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Red pepper flakes add a little bit of heat, but feel free to leave it out.
  • Crushed Tomatoes: Canned crushed tomatoes make this easy.
  • Salt: Salt to taste.
  • Pepper: Pepper to taste.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Shredded fresh Parmesan cheese for garnish. I use a peeler to get big shredded pieces.
  • Basil: Fresh chopped basil for garnish adds so much flavor!

The Best Pasta Pomodoro Recipe

This Pasta Pomodoro dish is a no-brainer for dinner because it takes less than 30 minutes to make! Add everything together in the pan for the sauce. Cook the pasta, then combine the pasta and sauce. It’s a match made in heaven! And don’t forget to top it with some grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil before serving! Follow the recipe card below for step-by-step instructions.

  1. Cook the Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta, but reserve ⅓ cup of the pasta water. Set the noodles and water aside separately.
  2. Saute the Shallots, Garlic, and Red Pepper Flakes: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the minced shallots for about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and sauté for a minute.
  3. Add Tomatoes, Pasta Water, Salt, Pepper, and Simmer: Add the can of crushed tomatoes, reserved pasta water, salt, and pepper. Bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 6-8 minutes.
  4. Add Pasta, Cheese, and Basil: Once the sauce has simmered down and is the desired consistency, add the cooked pasta, parmesan cheese, and basil.
  5. Continue to Cook: Continue to cook and stir constantly until all the cheese is melted.
  6. Garnish and Enjoy: Remove the pasta from the pan. Serve with additional parmesan cheese and basil before serving.
3 pictures showing how to make the pasta and sauce.

Tips and Variations

Pasta Pomodoro can be made to your liking. I have some tips and variations for you below. I love mine on the spicier side, so I always add more red pepper flakes. I also like to add sausage for my boys because they have to have meat. You too can have it any way you like it! I can’t wait for you to make it.

  • Switch Up the Pasta: Pomodoro sauce is a light thin sauce that pairs best with long-strand pasta. I like thin spaghetti, but feel free to use regular spaghetti, bucatini, or angel hair pasta.
  • Make it Spicer: This recipe doesn’t use a lot of red pepper flakes, but you can definitely use more to make it spicier!
  • Add Protein: Add cooked sausage, chicken, or any protein you desire. This will make it more filling.
  • Use High-Quality Ingredients: Always use the freshest ingredients. Fresh garlic, fresh basil, fresh Parmesan cheese…it makes all the difference.
  • Use Leftover Sauce As Pizza Sauce: Marinara sauce is a classic pizza sauce, but Pomodoro sauce is classic on Napolean-style pizza.

The top view of a pot of pasta pomodoro garnished with fresh cheese and mozzarella.

Storing Leftovers

To store leftovers of this Pasta Pomodoro recipe, wait until it has cooled down to room temperature. This pasta makes a great lunch for the next day. The flavors of the sauce are so flavorful the next day. Transfer the pasta and sauce into an airtight container and place it in the fridge.

  • In the Refrigerator: To store leftovers place them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • To Reheat: When you are ready to eat the leftovers, you can reheat them on the stove or in the microwave.

A close up of pasta wrapped around.a fork in a bowl.


  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions. When straining the pasta, reserve ⅓ cup of the pasta water. Set the noodles and water aside separately.

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the minced shallots for about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and sauté for a minute.

  • Add the can of crushed tomatoes, reserved pasta water, salt, and pepper. Bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 6-8 minutes.

  • Once the sauce has simmered down and is the desired consistency, add the cooked pasta, parmesan cheese, and basil.

  • Continue to cook and stir constantly until all the cheese is melted.

  • Remove the pasta from the pan and serve with additional parmesan cheese and basil before serving.



Serves: 8

Calories211kcal (11%)Carbohydrates34g (11%)Protein7g (14%)Fat5g (8%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat3gCholesterol3mg (1%)Sodium220mg (9%)Potassium150mg (4%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar2g (2%)Vitamin A364IU (7%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium46mg (5%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner

Cuisine Italian, Italian American

Keyword Easy Pasta Recipe, Pasta Pomodoro, Pasta Pomodoro Recipe



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