Pasta with Tomato Sauce, a Delicious Pasta al Pomodoro

A white plate with spaghetti and sauce on it.

Pasta with tomato sauce, Pasta al Pomodoro, is the most authentic Italian recipe. Nothing is tastier than a simple dish of pasta with a hearty sauce. Ready in a few minutes, it takes just the time to boil pasta. Here you will find out to make a fast sauce, and here is the link to How to Cook Pasta.

A plate of spaghetti with sauce and basil.

What is pasta with tomato sauce called?

Pasta with tomatoes does not have any special name, but you may encounter plenty of methods to make it. It is always pasta with tomatoes, but the results may be totally different from one time to another. Read the methods and you will understand why. 

Can you cook pasta into the sauce?

No, pasta is always cooked in boiling water, drained, and tossed with some sauce. Some chefs drain the pasta when al dente or still chewy, and finish cooking it in the pan with the sauce. They also add some pasta cooking liquid if it gets too thick. That way, the pasta will be evenly coated and will develop a richer flavor.

Spaghetti in a pan with sauce and a fork.

Tomato sauce or sauce with tomatoes?

In Italy, tomato sauce is different from all the other pasta seasonings with fresh or canned tomatoes.

Tomato sauce is made with ripe tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, basil, or sometimes parsley, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. It is prepared at the end of the summer when fresh tomatoes are plentiful. It is cooked for a long time, sterilized in jars, and then consumed all around the year. 

What’s the difference between Pomodoro and Bolognese sauce?

Pasta with tomato sauce is made of only tomatoes and herbs; whereas, pasta with ragù means a meat sauce, like Bolognese with tomatoes and herbs. The former is definitely lighter than the latter, which is a rich main course usually eaten on the weekends or for special occasions when there’s enough time to cook it. 

A plate of spaghetti with sauce and basil.

What to do when the  sauce is bitter or sour

Finding a good balance between sweet, bitter, and sour is not always easy. Sometimes your tomato sauce will taste too sour, too bitter, too sweet, and sometimes too watery. 

Top-quality ingredients can prevent it from getting too sour, so choose top-quality organic ripe tomatoes. Add a little sugar—1 teaspoon for every kilo (2.2 lbs) of ripe tomatoes—to balance the taste. You may also neutralize the sour taste by adding 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda, which will help neutralize the tomatoes. In contact with the tomatoes, baking soda will create a foam, which is due to the chemical reaction between the baking soda, the acid, and the anhydride. Do not increase the quantity; otherwise, your sauce will develop an unpleasant bitter aftertaste. 

The carrots and celery should be added at the beginning of the cooking process.

How to make a perfect dish of pasta (as if you were having lunch in my house) 

  1. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce; it will take between 7 and 15 minutes unless it is already made. If so, it just needs reheating. Wash and dice some tomatoes, and sauté them in a skillet with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a little salt, red pepper, flakes, and some basil. If you like a stronger taste, slice a garlic clove and a small onion and add them all together. 
  2. Check the pasta for doneness: cook it al dente, firm, but yet tender. If it is white inside, you should still cook it for a while.  
  3. Drain the pasta and pour it into the skillet with the sauce. Don’t let it cool down. Toss well. 
  4. Eat the pasta hot. Enjoy every bite slowly. 

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