Pasta Pomodoro

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Pasta Pomodoro is what we like to call pasta perfection.

Simple, straight-forward ingredients, but bursting with classic Italian flavor. We’ll show you how to take just a handful of basic ingredients, and turn them into something spectacular in only about 30 minutes!

A large white bowl filled with fresh pasta pomodoro next to a glass of red wine and a red-checkered napkin.


The preparation of pasta pomodoro is very simple and only takes about 20 minutes, once you’ve got your ingredients prepped.

As we always like to say, when you’re got a recipe with just a handful of ingredients, always go with quality.

Watch us show you how easy it is to make Pasta Pomodoro at home!



Pasta pomodoro literally means in Italian a Pasta in a tomato sauce. It is truly an iconic dish in Italy and after one bite, you’ll understand why!

Here’s all you need to make this iconic Italian dish:

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh garlic
  • Proscuitto
  • Fresh basil, parsley and bay leaf
  • White wine
  • San Marzano tomatoes
  • Pasta

Using your best olive oil, simmering a healthy amount of garlic cloves is a major start to building the flavor profile.

EXPERT TIP: For this recipe, we like to thinly slice the garlic, rather than mince it. Sautéing the garlic slices in the oil when scent the oil and cooking for it until slightly golden mellows the taste of the garlic, which is perfect for this dish. Be careful not to burn the garlic, however, as this will cause it to be very bitter tasting.

Garlic slivers cooking in a sliver pan with olive oil and a wooden spoon.


The addition of a good-quality dry white wine is essential in this dish.

After you’ve cooked the garlic, and added the prosciutto and herbs, crank the heat to high and carefully pour in the wine. Be careful, the wine may ignite briefly as it hits the hot pan!

EXPERT TIP: We love using a nice Sauvignon Blanc, but you could also go with a dry Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Soave. The alcohol will cook out after a couple minutes of cooking down, but leave a delicious flavor enhancement to the sauce.

White wine being poured into a large saucepan filled with sautéed garlic, prosciutto and herbs.


You don’t want to skimp on any of the ingredients when making pasta pomodoro.

And that couldn’t be more true for the star of the dish, the tomatoes! We love using canned San Marzano tomatoes for this dish. They are canned at the height of their freshness and come from the area near Naples and at the foot of the volcanic Mount Vesuvius.

Though this volcano has reached havoc on the populated areas around it over the centuries (i.e., Pompeii), it has left the ground rich in nutrients and therefore producing some of the most vibrant and delicious tomatoes in the world.

EXPERT TIP: This may be an old Italian wife’s tale, but legend has it that using your fingers to break up the tomatoes will result in a better tasting sauce than if you chopped them with a knife, or even worse, food processor. Who are we to argue with Italian legend?

A hand squeezing whole tomatoes into a large skillet for pasta pomodoro.


Choosing an ideal pasta for pasta pomodoro is key to creating the perfect dish.

We recommend a good, sturdy, long pasta such as spaghetti, bucatini, fettuccini, or linguine. Smaller, tubular pasta would work, but we think there is something magical about spinning the long strand pasta with a fork and a spoon, catching all the amazing sauce as it turns.

And if you want to really know the best kind of pasta…homemade pasta! Go for it!

EXPERT TIP: To finish the dish perfectly, first, save some of the pasta water from when you cooked the pasta. Next, heat a large, clean skillet over medium heat, and then add a ladle-full of the sauce. Then add in the pasta. Use tongs to twist the pasta into the sauce. This helps to make the sauce adhere to the pasta. Then, add the rest of the sauce and mix. If the sauce seems like it needs a little “loosening,” add a bit of the pasta water.

A pair of tongs twisting pasta pomodoro in a large skillet on a stovetop.


Other classic Italian dishes you will want to try are:

In the meantime, you’ve just got to make a batch of this Pasta Pomodoro!

A skillet of pasta pomodoro with a wooden spoon in the pot.


This dish is so quick and easy, it’s perfect for a weeknight meal.

Add in some gorgeous Cheesy Garlic Bread and a Green Leaf Salad with Gorgonzola and a nice bottle of wine, you’ve got yourself an impressive ‘special occasion’ meal.

Either way, you will not be disappointed with this recipe!

A close-up view of a large white bowl of pasta pomodoro with a sprig of basil on top.

Ready for one of the greatest Italian pasta dishes of all time? In about 30 minutes flat? Go for it!

And when you make this amazing pasta pomodoro, be sure to take a picture of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @howtofeedaloon and #howtofeedaloon!

A skillet full of pasta pomodoro

Pasta Pomodoro

This Pasta Pomodoro is Italian cuisine at it's best. Simple yet bold flavors bring the classic dish to life. Easy for a weeknight, but special enough for guests on the weekend. This is one of our all-time favorite pasta dishes.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Italian
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pasta, Pomodoro
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 487kcal


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 oz. prosciutto thinly sliced
  • 7 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes drained (San Marzano are good)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 12 oz spaghetti or bucatini


  • In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • When hot, reduce the heat and add the garlic, and cook it, stirring, for about 2 minutes until it is golden brown, taking care to not let it burn.
  • Add the prosciutto, basil, bay leaf and 1 tablespoon of the parsley and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Raise the heat to high, add the wine, and cook it for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes and using a wooden spoon, break them apart as they cook.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer for 3 minutes, or until the liquid reduces by half.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot filled with boiling salted water, cook the pasta until is al dente, about 8 - 9 minutes. (Cooking time will vary depending on the type of pasta you use).
  • Drain the pasta well and transfer to a bowl or platter.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil and immediately ladle it over the pasta and serve the dish, garnish with the remaining tablespoon of parsley.



Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 55mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 252IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!



  • 5 stars
    This is my favorite pasta recipe! So good! I love the herbs and garlic, and especially the proscuitto. Hands down, this is like dining at an upscale restaurant. And it’s fairly simple to make. Thank you!

    • Hi Dave! This is one of our favorite pasta dishes, too! So delicious in its simplicity! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Another one of your recipes for the win! I added a second smaller can of the San Marzano tomatoes because I like my Pasta Pomodoro with more tomatoes than most. So quick and easy! This will be my new go-to recipe!

    • Hi Megan! YES!! We are so happy you had such success with the Pasta Pomodoro recipe! We absolutely love the simplicity of this dish. And of course, going with a little extra San Marzano tomatoes can never be a bad thing. Sound wonderful! Thanks so much for letting us know and for the GREAT review! We appreciate that so very much!! Best, Kris & Wesley

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