Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that give you the most pleasure. This Pasta Pomodoro recipe? It’s one of those simple recipes that I will always look forward to during the summertime when tomatoes are ripe and ready to be eaten. I just love summer tomatoes. yum.
During my first trip to Italy as a kid, I had my first bowl of “Pasta Pomodoro” Pasta al Pomodoro is an Italian pasta dish typically prepared with olive oil, fresh tomatoes, basil, and various other fresh ingredients. It is intended to be a quick, easy, and light, which makes it the perfect summer pasta dish.
You’ll find that the ingredients are minimal and simple in this Pasta Pomodoro; however, you will be so impressed with the way this dish turns out. It is simply fantastic! You must buy the freshest ingredients you can find. And don’t be intimidated by the anchovies in this recipe. You really won’t know they are there and the addition of them adds a savoriness that really elevates this dish. Just think about it this way… would you want caesar salad without anchovies in the dressing? Heck no! That’s what makes the dressing so. damn. good. Anchovies… they are the best secret weapon in the kitchen, folks!
Head over to your local farmers market this weekend and grab some fresh herbs, fresh garlic, and fresh tomatoes to make this pasta. You won’t regret it!
- 4 flat filet anchovies in olive oil
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 large, ripe, fresh tomatoes diced (reserving their juices)
- 6 large leaves of basil, cut chiffonade style
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- 12 oz dry spaghetti (I use Jovial Brown Rice Pasta)
- Fill a large pot of water and bring to a boil. When boiling, pour in pasta and cook to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add anchovy filets and let cook for 30 seconds- 1 minute, then using the back of a spoon, press until it turns into a paste.
- Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and saute for 30 more seconds, being careful not to burn.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices to the skillet and season, pretty generously, with salt and pepper. Add in the chopped basil (reserving just a little of it for serving) Reduce heat to medium and let simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes.
- When pasta is ready and drained, add it to the sauce and toss to coat. Taste, and add seasonings if necessary.
- Garnish with more basil and Serve and enjoy!
Angie DotsonJuly 7, 2022 at 2:03 pm
I have anchovy paste in the house already. Could I just use that instead? I have also found it works well to use tongs and put the pasta into the sauce vs. draining it. The starchy water that accompanies the pasta using this method helps “cream” up the sauce a little. I also always save a little pasta water in case I need it. Your recipe doesn’t drizzle olive oil over the top or have the addition of parm reg or pecorino cheese. I highly recommend it towards the end!
AlexJuly 13, 2022 at 7:03 pm
Yes, you can definitely use anchovy paste instead of anchovies. typical rule of thumb for recipe swaps is 1/2 tsp anchovy paste = 1 anchovy.
HannahJuly 5, 2017 at 6:58 pm
So perfect for summer! I haven’t used anchovies in my pasta pomodoro yet – excited to try that this weekend. When do you add the basil to the sauce? After it simmers for 15 minutes?
AlexJuly 7, 2017 at 12:50 pm
Thanks for pointing that out, I fixed the error on the basil in the recipe :/ sorry about that! and you’re going to love that anchovy addition, let me know what you think!