“Pasta al Pomodoro. Sounds fancy. I can’t make that.” Those were my thoughts the first time I made this WAY back in my second culinary class in college. I could not have been more wrong. Pomodoro is just a very basic tomato sauce and the easiest sauce I’ve made, although it doesn’t look much like sauce. Looks more like diced tomatoes and basil.
My professor had just finished lecturing and even demonstrated how to make a pomodoro sauce and then told us to make our own. So I grabbed an onion and got to chopping. Pomodoro doesn’t call for onions. It calls for garlic. Lots and lots of garlic. Why on earth I started making a Ragu, I’ll never understand. Thankfully I didn’t get that far. I had just started chopping onions when my professor asked what I was doing. I told him I was making Ragu. If it wouldn’t have been a health code violation, he would have pounded his head on my table. Really, I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe I had already blocked out pomodoro because of its intimidating name. So I gave my onions a fine dice and used them in place of garlic. When my professor came for his taste test he actually liked my accidental pomodoro sauce, thank goodness. He was pretty annoyed with me at first.
So for the first time since college, I made this sauce, but I made it the right way. This type of pasta isn’t something I’d normally prepare or order at a restaurant. First, I don’t really like tomatoes, they have to be fully crushed and turned into something else. Second, I don’t like the oily pasta dishes. But if this were to show up in front of me at a restaurant, I’d be a happy eater. There’s so much flavor and I was so satisfied. This recipe is totally restaurant quality AND it takes less than 20 minutes to make.
First, get your water boiling for the angel hair and get that cooking. Angel hair only takes four minutes until it is al dente so don’t get too distracted while its boiling.
Second, heat up your olive oil. Its important to heat up your olive oil slowly and don’t turn up your burner to “High” heat. Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a smoke point between 375-420 degrees at which point it will burn and become rancid. Add the garlic in with EVOO when its warm and cook the garlic for 3-5 minutes.
Cut the roma tomatoes in half and remove the fleshy center and seeds. Then dice. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of pepper to the the olive oil and let simmer 2-3 minutes. (This is where I lost track of taking pictures. I’m starting to remember though. Giving myself myself a pat on the back!)
Remove the tomato sauce from the heat. In a large bowl, toss the pasta, sauce, basil and half of the Parmesan cheese. I left out about a tablespoon of the olive oil and discarded it. I wanted my pasta to be coated, but not dripping in oil. Serve with the remain Parmesan cheese as a garnish.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds roma tomatoes; seeded, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ounce fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, or more to taste
- 6 ounces dry angel hair pasta, cooked
- Cook angel hair pasta according to package directions
- In a small sauce pan add EVOO and heat slowly. Add garlic and cook 3-5 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes and black pepper. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes, until tomatoes are soft but don't let them lose their shape.
- Remove sauce from heat add to pasta with chopped basil and 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese. Toss until evenly coated. (I discarded about 1 TBSP EVOO).
- Garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese and serve.