In this Penne Pomodoro, al dente penne pasta is coated in a homemade tomato and basil sauce for a quick and easy meal everyone will love.
Penne Pomodoro is an easy, no-fuss weeknight dinner that will satisfy the whole family.
What You’ll Love!
- Pomodoro sauce is an easy homemade sauce that uses mainly pantry staples so you can whip it up at the last minute
- The pasta boils while the sauce simmers then it’s all combined together for an easy 30-minute meal
- Makes a great family-style meal
Penne – Penne pasta, and other tube noodles, are great for tomato sauce because they hold onto the sauce really well. You can also use spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine noodles.
Tomatoes – I highly recommend using canned San Marzano-style tomatoes for this recipe. They’re sweeter than other tomatoes which will taste better in this quick-cooking sauce.
Olive Oil– Since this sauce is relying on the olive oil for some of its flavor, I prefer to use high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
Onion & Garlic – These aromatics add a lot of flavor to the sauce.
Basil – Fresh basil adds a nice herby taste to the sauce.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: Full list of ingredients, their amounts, and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, add the olive oil, diced onion, and minced garlic to a large pan. Heat the pan over medium heat, cooking the onions and garlic until they are softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Pour in the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to the package directions. When there is about 1 minute left, use a measuring cup to reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining.
Turn the heat off the sauce and add the basil and salt. Stir to combine.
Add the cooked pasta and toss until the pasta is well coated.
Add some of the pasta water, if needed. The sauce shouldn’t be runny but it should have a nice “saucy” consistency.
Tips & Tricks
- Taste the tomatoes as they cook. If they taste too acidic, add a teaspoon or so of sugar to the sauce. This will help reduce the acidity without making the sauce sweet
Substitutions & Variations
- You can swap out the penne noodles with any pasta you like
- If you don’t like basil, use parsley instead
- Serve it with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Storage & Reheating
Keep the pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat in the microwave, covered with a damp paper towel, in 30-second bursts until warmed through.
To reheat on the stove, place pasta and a tablespoon of water in a pot and heat over medium-low until warmed through.
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- 16 ounces penne pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup sweet onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 28 ounces crushed San Marzano-style tomatoes
- 8-10 basil leaves thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more for the pasta water
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic to a large pan. Turn on the heat to medium. Sauté the onions and garlic until they are softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and stir until well combined.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, boil the pasta according to the package directions. When there is about 1 minute of cook time remaining, scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta.
- Turn the heat off the sauce and stir in the basil and salt.
- Add the pasta and toss to coat. If the sauce became too thick while simmering, add some of the reserved pasta water. (see note)
- The sauce should be “saucy” but not runny. Add a splash at a time until the sauce is a nice consistency.