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Bowl of pasta pomodoro sitting on top of two folded napkins

Nonna's Pasta Pomodoro

This is my nonna Enza's pasta al pomodoro recipe! Using fresh tomatoes, the sauce come together in the amount of time that it takes to boil the pasta water, and cook the pasta!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 768.88 kcal


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small piece parmesan cheese, including the rind
  • 250 grams pasta (penne)
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, torn into pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a shallow sauce pan, over medium heat, heat olive oil.

  2. In mean time, boil a large pot of water and cook pasta in salted pasta water until al dente.

  3. Add garlic and onions, and sauté until fragrant.

  4. Add tomatoes and parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

  5. Cover, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.

  6. Take the cover off the pan, remove the piece of parmesan cheese, and and stir in fresh basil. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

  7. Mix sauce in with pasta. Plate pasta and garnish with more parmesan cheese.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • I used penne for this recipe, but you can use almost any type of pasta you'd like - spaghetti, cavatelli, ravioli etc
  • Use cherry tomatoes only for this sauce (no grape/roma/beefsteak tomatoes!). They're the best tomato to make a fresh tomato sauce. 
  • There's no need to peel, seed or puré the tomatoes.
  • If you want to make this recipe vegan, you can omit adding the piece of parmesan while cooking, and skip topping with parmesan once plated. 
  • If the sauce is ready before the pasta is finished cooking, turn the heat down to low to keep it warm. 
Nutrition Facts
Nonna's Pasta Pomodoro
Amount Per Serving
Calories 768.88 Calories from Fat 263
% Daily Value*
Fat 29.27g45%
Saturated Fat 4.13g26%
Sodium 42.19mg2%
Potassium 957.59mg27%
Carbohydrates 108.19g36%
Fiber 6.42g27%
Sugar 11.65g13%
Protein 19.59g39%
Vitamin A 1536.35IU31%
Vitamin C 70.36mg85%
Calcium 64.46mg6%
Iron 3.8mg21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.