Penne Pomodoro is a delicious and simple classic Italian red sauce. This flavorful sauce has few ingredients and is done in only 20 minutes.
This easy pasta recipe is delicious with grilled chicken, shrimp, or fish. Serve with some fresh bread and plenty of parmesan cheese!
Penne Pomodoro is a classic Italian recipe. You'll find this at many restaurants like Carrabba's and Olive Garden, but it's so easy to make your own at home.
The trick to making great penne Pomodoro is by using whole tomatoes in the sauce, and blending them before you add the pasta. The result is a delicious, smooth, thicker sauce that's full of flavor.
You can serve this with pasta, grilled meat/fish, or roasted vegetables. It's a great sauce to have on hand in the freezer that will make any meal more delicious!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Delicious - This recipe is so delicious. Each bite is packed with flavor that your family will truly love! It's really a perfect dish for the whole family. Great for entertaining too!
Approachable - This recipe is approachable and is easy to make. You only need a few kitchen tools to make this great recipe. The best part of this pasta recipe is easy enough to make for busy weeknights, but also fancy-feeling enough to make for a date night!
Easy - This dish looks like it came from the kitchen of a restaurant, but is so easy to make!
Penne Pomodoro Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you will need for this penne Pomodoro recipe:
- Penne pasta, or 1 lb of your favorite shape of pasta
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh Garlic, minced
- Whole San Marzano Tomatoes - it's important to get them whole. Get San Marzano tomatoes if you can, they have the best flavor for tomato sauce. Read more about why here.
- Tomato Paste - this helps thicken the sauce
- Onion Powder
- Salt and Pepper
- Heavy Cream - just a bit!
- Fresh Basil Leaves - delicious served on top of the pasta. You can also use other fresh herbs like thyme or oregano
- Grated Parmesan Cheese - for serving
Penne Pomodoro Directions
Let's make this Penne al Pomodoro recipe together!
Step 1: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne pasta until al dente in boiling water, then drain in a colander and set aside.
Step 2: Heat olive oil and garlic in a large pot, deep skillet, or large saute pan over medium heat. Cook the garlic for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
Step 3: Add San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir ingredients together and bring to a simmer.
Step 4: Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Then, use an immersion blender to smooth the sauce. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can also use a normal blender or food processor.
Step 5: Remove the sauce from the heat. Add heavy cream and penne and stir to combine. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil. If the sauce is too thick, you can always reserve a cup of pasta water and add some to thin the sauce.
That's it! With only 5 steps, this sauce comes together so quickly and is so delicious.
Here is some kitchen equipment that you will need to make this recipe. You can find all of these products on Amazon.
Immersion blender - An immersion blender is definitely needed for this recipe. It allows you to blend your sauce right in the pot, making this recipe super easy. I have this one and love it! It's a great option and versatile for any home cook.
Deep Skillet - I love using a deep skillet for cooking sauces like this. I have this one and I use it cooking every single day! It can also go in the oven, making it versatile for so many recipes.
San Marzano Tomatoes - It's no secret, San Marzano tomatoes will give you the best tasting sauce every time. Check out these on Amazon, it's a great option if your local grocer does not carry them.
Penne Pomodoro Substitutions/Variations
Here are some common substitutions and variations for this Pasta al Pomodoro recipe:
Pasta Shape: This recipe calls for penne pasta since it's a great shape for holding the delicious Pomodoro sauce. However, if you don't have any on hand, any short type of pasta would be great in this recipe.
Tomatoes: I highly recommend using whole San Marzano tomatoes for this recipe. But if you can't find them or do not have them on hand, you can use other whole or crushed tomatoes for this recipe. You can also use fresh tomatoes in this recipe.
Flavor Variations: This recipe keeps things very simple. Feel free to add some of your favorite spices and herbs such as oregano, thyme, or red pepper flakes to give this a kick. Or, add more cream to give the sauce a creamier consistency.
What To Serve With
Here are some easy recipes to serve this simple tomato sauce with:
- Baked Jumbo Shrimp
- Baked Salmon Steaks
- Spinach Stuffed Salmon
- Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
- Seared Filet Medallions
- Chicken Limone
- Pistachio Crusted Salmon
- Broccolini with Whipped Goat Cheese
Frequently Asked Questions
Marinara sauce is a thin stewed sauce, often with chunky tomatoes. Pomodoro is often thicker and creamier than marinara sauce, with pureed whole tomatoes.
Pomodoro sauce is a classic and simple Italian tomato sauce. Pomodoro means 'tomato' in Italian. It is a basic sauce with just a few ingredients.
Pomodoro in Italian translates to Tomato in English. It is also known as a simple Italian tomato sauce with few ingredients.
Recipe Storage and Reheating
Here are storage and reheating instructions for this penne pomodoro pasta recipe.
Refrigerator Storage: Store in an airtight continuer and eat leftovers within 4-5 days.
Freezer Storage: Freeze in a freezer-safe, airtight container and keep for up to 3 months. When you're ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator and reheat as instructed below.
Reheating Instructions: The best way to reheat this recipe is to heat in a skillet with a little olive oil over low heat. If the sauce is dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen up the sauce.
More Italian Recipes
Looking for more Italian recipes? Check out some of our favorites:
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28 oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Fresh basil for serving
- Grated parmesan for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook penne until al dente, then drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil and garlic in a large pot over medium heat. Let garlic cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to smooth the sauce.
- Remove sauce from heat. Add heavy cream and cooked penne and combine. Serve with grated parmesan and fresh basil.