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Pasta With Tomato Sauce (Pasta al Pomodoro 2.0)

Course First Course, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pasta, tomato, tomato sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author EXAU Olive Oil


  • 2 large smashed garlic cloves (or cut into 2 pieces)
  • 1 chopped peperoncino (spicy pepper), optional
  • 4 tbsp finely grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 5 leaves basil
  • 3/4 lb cherry tomatoes (the sweeter the better)
  • 3/4 lb spaghetti (350 grams)


  1. Place the garlic and peperoncino into a small pot. Cover generously with a layer of olive oil and turn heat to low. Cook the garlic and peperoncino until right when the garlic starts to turn golden. Usually 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

  2. Chop the cherry tomatoes into quarters.

  3. Turn pot heat to medium and add cherry tomatoes. Stir and cover. Cook for 18 minutes, stirring every 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil.

  5. Add the basil to the tomato sauce. Also add 1 pinch of salt. Cover and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat.

  6. Use an immersion blender to finely blend the sauce. Blend until smooth as canned tomato soup.

    Note: You can leave the sauce in the pot or transfer to a deep bowl if you’re concerned about making a mess.

  7. Generously salt pasta water, then add pasta. Cook until 3 minutes before ‘al dente’ per package description. Reserve 1 to 2 cups pasta water.

    Note: Pasta water should taste like the sea.

  8. Add sauce to a large pan and place on low heat while waiting for pasta to cook. Cut the heat if it starts to boil.

  9. 1 minute before adding pasta, add 1 ladle of pasta water to sauce. Turn heat to medium then high. The sauce should begin to boil.

  10. Add the pasta to the sauce, stirring continuously. Add pasta water 1/2 ladle at a time as the pasta continues to cook and dry out. Cook for the remaining 2 to 3 minutes.

  11. Remove from heat then add parmigiano reggiano. Stir to incorporate.

  12. Plate and serve immediately. Don’t forget to finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil!