plate of spaghetti al pomodoro with fresh basil

Last week my mom called to let me know she had 37 ripe tomatoes on her counter (because of course) and that I’d better get over quick if I wanted in on the booty. I headed straight to her house, salted then inhaled two purple heirlooms on the spot, then picked out the largest, heaviest, most ruby-red tomatoes from the remaining lot to make the mother of all summertime recipes – Spaghetti al Pomodoro!

This simple, fresh, and light pasta recipe is like summer on a plate – it doesn’t get more perfectly delicious than this!

Overhead photo of bowl of pasta pomodoro

Pasta Pomodoro Sauce

Pasta pomodoro is a tomato-based pasta sauce (pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian) that’s made from fresh tomatoes, olive oil, salt, fresh garlic, and fresh basil. Are you sensing a theme here? Fresh, fresh, fresh! Like I said – pasta pomodoro celebrates all things summer.

And butter. Oh yes, my personal twist on this classic sauce is a couple pats of butter stirred in at the end. Makes ALL the difference!

Spaghetti al Pomodoro, or spaghetti pomodoro, is simply pomodoro sauce swirled with spaghetti. In my case gluten free spaghetti. I prefer a corn and rice-based gluten free spaghetti like Barilla. This dish is also commonly made with angel hair or linguini pasta. Whatever you’ve got in the pantry is going to to taste heavenly when coated in this light and luscious tomato sauce.

Forkful of spaghetti al pomodoro

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Now, speaking of my Mom – she and my Dad make this dish constantly during the summer. They snap a photo and send it to me every single time it’s what’s for dinner. I’ll let you guess how many I get each season! 😉

Spaghetti al Pomodoro is the perfect example of simple is best. Combine a few fresh, everyday ingredients together to make this swirly, irresistable dinner tonight!

overhead Photo of pasta pomodoro swirled around a fork

Step 1: Prep the Tomatoes

Start the spaghetti pomodoro by roughly chopping ripe tomatoes – no need to peel.

Tomato Storage Tip: store tomatoes on the counter, stem side down to keep them fresher longer.

Pasta Pomodoro is the perfect recipe to highlight juicy, ripe summer tomatoes. This pasta dish is light and fresh! #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

You also don’t need to seed the tomatoes – add them seeds, juices, and all to a large bowl then set aside.

Pasta Pomodoro is the perfect recipe to highlight juicy, ripe summer tomatoes. This pasta dish is light and fresh! #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

Step 2: Saute the Sauce

Next, saute minced shallot and fresh garlic in extra virgin olive oil over medium heat for two minutes then add the tomatoes plus chopped fresh basil and a pinch of sugar. The sugar doesn’t make the sauce taste sweet, rather, it helps balance out the acidity from the tomatoes.

Pasta Pomodoro is the perfect recipe to highlight juicy, ripe summer tomatoes. This pasta dish is light and fresh! #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

Step 3: Simmer the Sauce

Simmer the sauce over low heat until the mixture reaches your desired consistency – 20 minutes to an hour or so depending on how juicy your tomatoes are – smashing the tomatoes against the side of the pan with a spoon or spatula every so often. Finish the sauce by adding pepper, lots of salt, butter, and more fresh basil.

Pasta Pomodoro is the perfect recipe to highlight juicy, ripe summer tomatoes. This pasta dish is light and fresh! #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com

Step 4: Boil the Spaghetti

While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil then generously salt and add dry spaghetti (gluten free if you need it). Cook until al dente then drain and return to the pot.

Last step is to combine the pomodoro sauce with the cooked spaghetti then serve. I hope you love this light and luscious fresh spaghetti pomodoro – enjoy!

Beautiful plate of spaghetti al pomodoro with fresh basil

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Spaghetti al Pomodoro

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Description

Spaghetti al Pomodoro is the perfect recipe to highlight juicy, ripe summer tomatoes. This simple, summer pasta dish is fresh and light!

Ingredients

serves 2-3

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large, very ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil, chopped and divided
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2lb gluten-free spaghetti

Directions

  1. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic then saute for two minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, half the basil, and the sugar then turn heat up slightly to bring to a boil. Turn heat back down to medium then simmer until desired consistency is reached, 20-30 minutes depending on how juicy your tomatoes are, smashing tomatoes against the side of the pan with a spatula every so often.
  2. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil then add a generous amount of salt. Add pasta then cook until al dente. Drain then return pasta to the pot to keep warm.
  3. Season sauce with pepper and lots of salt then stir in butter and remaining basil. Taste then add more salt or pepper if necessary and then mix with cooked spaghetti and serve.

Notes

Adapted from Food Network

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Photo collage of spaghetti al pomodoro