The Ultimate Pomodoro Sauce For Pasta

This easy pomodoro sauce is so simple to make it only needs to start cooking just before putting the dried pasta on to boil! We’ve used San Marzano tomatoes to make the ultimate tomato sauce, plus added a little garlic, salt and chilli. Our recipe serves 2-3 people, but it’s an easy sauce recipe to double if you’re serving more.

What is San Marzano tomato sauce?

Our pomodoro sauce uses San Marzano tomatoes. This variety are ideal for sauces, thanks to their dense flesh and fantastic fragrance. We’ve added garlic cloves for mellow sweetness, and salt to help enhance the natural sweetness of tomatoes.

A pinch of chilli adds a very subtle yet welcome warmth to this sauce. It’s minimal, so doesn't overpower the tomatoes in the slightest.

Learn more about San Marzano tomatoes here

Why use San Marzano tomatoes?

San Marzano tomatoes are Italy’s favourite for making both pizza and pasta sauces. These famed tomatoes have DOP status. In order to qualify for said status, the San Marzano tomatoes must be grown within a specific area surrounding Naples. The soil in this region is particularly fertile and is exposed to lots of sunshine. These factors are said to give the tomatoes extra flavour and nutrients.

Our recipe makes enough for 2-3 people, but it’s easy to double depending on how many people you’re serving.

Ingredients for pomodoro sauce Serves: 3

  • 2 x 400g cans San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves (25g), peeled and finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes 
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large fresh basil sprig or ¼ teaspoon dried oregano, plus more to taste

Ingredients to serve

  • 250g dried pasta
  • Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese to serve

Method for pomodoro sauce

  1. Tip the San Marzano tomatoes into a bowl, then crush between your hands to make a sauce. Dispose of the hard calyx.
  2. Combine the cold olive oil and chopped garlic in a 26cm skillet or saute pan, and heat to medium. Stir until sizzling. Just before the garlic starts to brown, tip in the tomatoes, salt and chilli flakes, then mix well. 
  3. Heat to a volcanic simmer and add the basil sprig so that it wilts on the sauce’s surface. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the sauce from catching. At this stage, put your pasta on to cook, according to packet instructions. The sauce is ready when glossy and thick, and the oil has started to separate. When you draw your spoon through the sauce, it should leave a clean line on the base of the pan. Discard the basil.
  4. One minute before the pasta’s cooking time is up, drain it and reserve around 250ml of the cooking water (ladle it into a jug before draining). 
  5. Ladle 125ml of the cooking water into the tomato sauce, then tip in the pasta. Mix until well coated, adding a little more water to thin if needed.
  6. Serve with plenty of grated parmesan or pecorino cheese.
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Pasta with Pomodoro Sauce

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