Pasta with tomato sauce is one of the classics. It’s a dish we all know and (mostly) love. And to be honest it’s a perfect dish. While we have absolutely zero qualms about making and eating the same dish over and over (looking at you Pasta Aglio e Olio), there’s always room for experimentation. Especially when it comes to sauce.
Let’s call this pasta al pomodoro 2.0. She doesn’t live in the shadow of the original recipe. She’s the ‘fun’ cousin who visits during holidays. This is the pasta with tomato sauce you make when you have the sweetest tomatoes of the summer, bursting with flavor and teetering on the edge of becoming dessert.
Pasta With Tomato Sauce Deserve Starts With Really Good Olive Oil
The base of a truly excellent pasta with tomato sauce recipe is the olive oil because it acts as a vehicle to transport the notes of garlic into each bite. It sounds cheesy but we've made this dish hundreds of times and it rings true every time! Plus, once you drop the tomatoes into the sizzling hot olive oil they'll slightly caramelize and get well... sweet. And who doesn't like sweet tomatoes?!
For this dish we recommend the Turi, Avus, or even the No.9 olive oils. The Lina olive oil might be a lil' too strong. If the oil you'd like to purchase is sold out explore our olive oil sets.
Extra Saucy Tomato Sauce
This pasta with tomato sauce is extremely saucy. The reason being, we use the immersion blender to blend these jammy tomatoes into the consistency of tomato soup. Actually, you could probably use this sauce base for tomato soup, but we won’t go down that rabbit hole today.
Blending the tomato sauce heightens the flavor profiles of each ingredient immensely. The garlic, which we usually keep whole, lends gentle aromatics, while the basil almost tastes concentrated. This tomato sauce almost tastes like a bisque but there isn’t any cream.
You might have some leftover sauce in your bowl or the pan. Whip out the bread and ‘fa la scarpetta’, this is not the moment to choose between pasta or bread.
This Pasta With Tomato Sauce Doesn't Need Too Much Garlic
We keep the garlic clove whole or in large chunks in almost all of our recipes and this is no exception. When garlic is cooked whole it gets jammy and gently flavors the olive oil which then flavors the food. When garlic is finely sliced or chopped it burns extremely quickly and it doesn’t develop a velvety smooth texture.
Garlic is an incredible ingredient but it should complement a dish, not overpower it. Chop the garlic into 2 or three large chunks, or better yet just smash it and put it in the pan. It will get blended up once it has sweetened through the cooking process.
Salting The Tomato Sauce
We do not heavily salt the tomato sauce because it’s quite sweet and rich once blended. Salt to taste but due so later in the cook process, at the same time you add the basil. Don’t forget the pasta water is also salted so don’t overdo it.
Assembling Pasta With Tomato Sauce
For this dish especially, the pasta should finishing cooking in the tomato sauce with a few ladles of pasta water. This will allow the pasta to absorb the sauce, concentrating every bite. It’s better to pull the pasta early from the water and into the sauce than too late to avoid overcooking in the sauce and the pasta becoming mushy. DO NOT DISCARD THE PASTA WATER. That starchy water is your life raft if there isn’t enough liquid in the pan.
Usually, when we pull pasta from the pot into the sauce it’s still quite undercooked which is 100% okay. Be sure to use a timer for this recipe as 1 minute does make a difference when cooking the pasta.
You May Also Like…
Fried Zucchini Fritters Recipe (Frittelle di Zucchine)
Tomato Salad Recipe (Insalata di Pomodoro)
If you make this pasta with tomato sauce, please leave a comment and give this recipe a rating! We love to hear from you and do respond to comments. And if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram and Facebook and use #EXAUoliveoil so we can repost!
This is by far the best tomato sauce recipe I‘ve ever tried. It works everytime and tastes amazing! Everyone loves it and I recommend it often. Thanks so much!
This recipe is so amazing! My husband and I felt like we were being transported back to Italy after making it. This is definitely a winner and will be in the rotation for sure!