It is easy to say spaghetti with tomato sauce, or, as we would say, spaghetti al pomodoro. How many recipes are out there? One for each family? Maybe even more. It depends on who is cooking that day, on the tomatoes you have at hand, on what you are craving in that moment. Pure tomato flavour, or maybe with some garlic? Do you prefer onion? A generous handful of fresh herbs, the heat of chili pepper or maybe just a fresh tomato purée, barely touched by the heat?
Just by mentioning spaghetti with tomato sauce, you get in contact with a waterfall of memories. I can perfectly see a fork hungrily twirling the spaghetti, a smiling mouth stained with tomato sauce, a piece of bread to clean the plate. Spaghetti are the protagonists of quick lunches made when you’ve spent the whole day on your feet: you boil the pasta, open a jar of summer pomarola, and you’re set. But they are also the stars of Sunday gatherings, a table crowded with people, a huge bowl of spaghetti with tomato sauce, and a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano passed from hand to hand.
Spaghetti al pomodoro – Spaghetti with tomato sauce and Mediterranean herbs
Cherry tomatoes, good extra virgin olive oil, a clove of garlic, thyme and oregano. You don’t need anything else to make a healthy bowl of spaghetti with tomato sauce, with bold Mediterranean flavours.
Spaghetti with tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 20 cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, just the leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 160 g spaghetti
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick pan with a clove of garlic. When the garlic is golden, add the chopped tomatoes, the fresh thyme, the dried oregano and a good pinch salt, then cook until the cherry tomatoes begin to fall apart. Remove from the heat and set it aside.
- Cook the spaghetti al dente in a pot of boiling salted water, according to the package timing. Drain the spaghetti and pour them into the pan with the tomato sauce, along with a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
- Toss the spaghetti thoroughly over medium heat for a couple of minutes, to thicken the sauce. Serve the spaghetti immediately, with a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano Reggiano if you like it.
More recipes for pasta with tomato sauce from the blog archive
- Burst cherry tomato sauce for pasta. Choose small ripe cherry tomatoes: the variety of colours and textures helps, though a bowl of ordinary plump red cherry tomatoes would work as well. Dose basil, garlic and chili pepper to taste: I prefer to be generous with basil (and olive oil), shy with chili pepper and moderate with garlic. Just follow your family preferences. Toast the pine nuts before throwing them into the pan. If you are in a hurry just add them along the other ingredients, as I made today. Finish with some grated parmigiano or pecorino for a rounder and more intense sauce.
- Pasta with tomato sauce, guanciale and olives. I do not fry the minced garlic in olive oil before adding the tomatoes, as you would do in a traditional garlicky tomato sauce. I cook everything together, adding the salt at the beginning so that it can extract the water from the tomatoes and cook them down. Do it for a diet purpose, as you want to avoid fried olive oil, do it for a flavour purpose, as you prefer a fresher tomato sauce, or do it to save up time, but try it and this will become your go-to tomato sauce recipe.