A simple Pomodoro Sauce is served with spaghetti or penne pasta for an easy weeknight dinner. This homemade spaghetti sauce recipe is made with fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic and is ready in under 30 minutes!
Pasta Pomodoro Sauce
Brightly colored and flavor-packed tomatoes make this pasta pomodoro sauce recipe one to make over and over again. You can freeze some for later, or use it all up over a plate full of spaghetti noodles.
And just to clear the air, store-bought spaghetti sauce is by no means looked down upon! Heck, I grew up on that stuff and still love to drown a bed of penne pasta in it or make this easy Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake with it.
But the depth of flavor from sautéing a skillet full of fresh Campari tomatoes, cloves of garlic, and basil leaves is one that is extremely difficult to find in a jar.
Homegrown Tomato Recipe
Do you have a garden right now that is bursting with homegrown tomatoes?
What about a good go-to recipe to make when an abundance of them turn red?
Well look no further, this auce recipe is perfect for using up all of those fresh, garden vegetables and is so simple to make!
What is Pomodoro Sauce?
Pomodoro sauce is made from tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil.
The Italian word, “Pomodoro” means “golden apple.” This yellow-tinted vegetable was the first type of tomato grown in Italy and used in this kind of sauce.
Pomodoro vs. Marinara
The main ingredients in pomodoro sauce are the same that are found in marinara: tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil.
So what is the difference between the two?
The two key differences are in their consistency and cooking method.
Pomodoro sauce is traditionally simmered longer, 20-30 minutes or even for hours!, resulting in a slightly thicker and deeper red color. It also begins with finely diced fresh tomatoes and has a smoother consistency.
Marinara sauce is cooked more quickly and has a brighter, slightly orange hue. It starts with large chunks of fresh tomatoes and has a chunkier, and slightly runny consistency.
Cook’s Note: Many pomodoro recipes have decreased the cooking time to speed up the process.
How to Make
This is a relatively simple homemade spaghetti sauce recipe since it only requires a few ingredients and under 30 minutes to cook!
- Finely dice 2 ½ pounds tomatoes and ½ sweet onion.
- Sauté onion in olive oil until it turns slightly translucent. Add crushed garlic and continue sautéing for 1 minute. (Picture 1 above.)
- Reduce heat to Medium-Low and add diced tomatoes and sugar. Continue cooking for 15-20 minutes. (Picture 2 above.)
- During the last 5 minutes of cooking, begin crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Do this until you reach your desired consistency. (Picture 3 above.)
- Reduce heat to low and stir in fresh basil and salt, to taste. (Picture 4 above)
- Serve pomodoro sauce over penne pasta, spaghetti, or capellini with additional fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Best Type of Tomatoes to Use
When selecting your tomatoes for a homemade sauce, there are a few types that are easy to find in the grocery store and taste great:
- Campari – One of the best types to use due to their juiciness, low acidity, and high sugar levels. They are also a very beautiful red color that will give your sauce a gorgeous hue.
- San Marzano – Not as easy to find in most grocery stores, but if you can, pick some up because they will be incredible!
- Vine-ripened – Also another great variety to use and they are easy to find.
- Roma – These are definitely my last pick since they tend to not be super flavorful when found in the grocery store. However, if they are homegrown they will work perfectly!
- Homegrown Garden – Use these up if you’ve got them!! They will definitely be the most flavorful and affordable!
- Other varieties that can be used but are difficult to find in the grocery store include: any type of paste tomato (amish paste, saucy, etc.), Viva Italian, Big/Little Mama, and many more.
Cook’s Tip: Try to avoid cherry or grape tomatoes since their skins are pretty tough and will not cook down as well as the above varieties.
Penne, Capellini, or Spaghetti
When serving this sauce you have the option to pour it over a number of pastas.
A few of my favorite types include:
Or, change it up and serve it over Gnocchi!
How to Freeze
Much like many other tomato-based sauces, this one freeze exceptionally well.
To freeze any leftovers simply bring them to room temperature, store in an airtight freezer-safe container in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, and then freeze for up to 3-4 months.
When ready to use your previously frozen spaghetti sauce simply let it thaw in the refrigerator for 1-2 days and then reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave.
Other Easy Sauce Recipes:
Easy Pomodoro Sauce Recipe
If you love spaghetti, then you have to try this authentic, Italian Pomodoro Sauce. Simply sauté onions and garlic, then add fresh tomatoes, and season with fresh basil for the best topping.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup sweet onion seeds removed, finely diced
- 5 cloves garlic crushed
- 5 cups tomatoes about 2 ½ pounds, finely diced
- 1 tsp. sugar optional
- 2 Tbsp. basil fresh, cut into thin strips
- ½ tsp. salt to taste
- Parmesan cheese optional
In a medium pot sauté olive oil and diced onion over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until onion is slightly translucent. Add crushed garlic and continue sautéeing for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes and sugar. Keep sauce over medium-low heat and sauté for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
During the last 5 minutes, start crushing the tomatoes with the back of your spoon. Do this until all tomatoes are completely crushed.
Stir in basil and salt to taste. Reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Serve with spaghetti or penne pasta, extra basil, and fresh Parmesan. Enjoy!
- Campari, vine-ripened, or fresh garden tomatoes will all work great in this recipe.
- Feel free to leave out the sugar if you prefer your sauce less sweet.
- Can also sub vegan Parmesan cheese.
- A few of my favorite gluten-free pastas: