Spaghetti al Pomodoro

This bowl of Spaghetti al Pomodoro is life.

Spaghetti al Pomodoro, let me find the words. Silky spaghetti tossed in a rich homemade tomato sauce served with grated parmesan is one of life’s greatest pleasures in my humble opinion. There are so names for this tomato sauce – Napolitana, Arrabiata (added chilli), Marinara. The list goes on.  And if one wants to get all fancy, top with a few roasted baby tomatoes, burrata, fresh basil or homemade basil pesto.

Have you seen The Bear?

If you love foodie dramas (think Anthony Bourdain vibes), it’s a binger. Everyone is going crazy over this show, but mostly because of the droolworthy spaghetti scene that has gotten us all running to the store buying premium canned tomatoes and spaghetti.

Click here to see some other pasta recipes I’ve cooked up.

Spaghetti al Pomodoro

Spaghetti al Pomodoro

Spaghetti al Pomodoro

Carey Erasmus
with burrata, roasted baby tomatoes and basil
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 3
Calories 905 kcal


  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 400 g (1 can) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste
  • 200 ml vegetable stock
  • ½ c fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
  • coarse salt to taste
  • coarse pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) sugar to taste
  • 250 g spaghetti boiled until al dente

To Serve (optional)

  • 200 g baby tomatoes roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and a few basil leaves for 15 minutes at 200°C
  • 125 g fior de latte or burrata mozzarella ball torn
  • ½ c (125 ml) grated parmesan
  • ¼ c basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil for drizzling


  • Simmer the onion and garlic in the olive oil over moderate heat until lightly golden and translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes, paste, oregano, stock and basil leaves. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • This is when the baby tomatoes can be roasted until blistered and squishy. Also, get a pot of salted water on the boil for the spaghetti.
  • Season with salt, pepper and sugar and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Boil the spaghetti until al dente.
  • I like my sauce chunky, but feel free to puree with a stick blender for a smooth sauce. Check seasoning.
  • Using a pasta ladle, add the spaghetti to the sauce and mix until evenly combined. Add a splash of pasta water to allow the sauce to bind to the pasta. Season one more time.
  • Serve immediately, topped with torn mozzarella, grated parmesan, roasted baby tomatoes and fresh basil.
  • And a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for luck.


For Arrabiata. Add some dried chill when simmering the onions and garlic. 
TIP: if time allows and you have the ingredients, add 1 small celery stalk (no leaves) and 1 medium carrot and finely chop. This combined with the onion (and garlic) is sofrito (mirepoix). The mother of all cooking bases. If doing this, I recommend blending the sauce. 


Calories: 905kcalCarbohydrates: 97gProtein: 37gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 1263mgPotassium: 1317mgFiber: 15gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 1971IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 1179mgIron: 23mg
Keyword Napolitana, Pomodoro, Spaghetti
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