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This easy homemade pasta sauce is packed with fresh and delicious flavors, and comes together in just twenty minutes.
Why I Love this Recipe
- This simple pasta sauce is fully vegan and plant based
- The pasta and sauce is perfect for meal prepping and the sauce can be stored in the freezer for up to three months, making it a great freezer meal.
- By using a GF pasta, this recipe can easily be gluten-free.
- This meal takes only 20 minutes to make.
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Tomatoes: The tomatoes are the star of this recipe, so it's important to use the right ones. I exclusively use San Marzano tomatoes in this sauce.
San Marzano tomatoes are hailed as an extra flavorful tomato with the perfect balance of tomato flavor, sweetness, and acidity. If you're interested in learning more about these tomatoes, check out this article.
Garlic: I always opt for fresh garlic for the best possible flavor. If at all possible, use freshly minced garlic rather than pre-minced.
Basil: Just like the garlic, using fresh basil with give you the best and brightest flavors.
See recipe card below for full ingredient list and quantities.
Tip: This pasta recipe pairs well with my Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing.
Step by Step Instructions
This pomodoro sauce is quick and easy to make!
I like to start off my boiling the pasta water and cooking the pasta according to the package instructions. While you wait for the water to boil/pasta to cook, you can work on your sauce.
Wash and prep the ingredients according to the ingredient list.
Combine the olive oil, and garlic in a medium pot over medium/low heat for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
Tip: Be sure not to let the garlic burn! Keep a close eye on the garlic while it cooks. If it does burn, discard and start over. The burnt garlic will throw off the taste of the entire sauce.
Add the tomato pasta, San Marzano tomatoes, basil, salt, and stir. Continue to cook on medium/low heat for several minutes.
Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, if you don't have an immersion blender, allow the sauce to cool significantly before transferring to a traditional blender. Vent the lid slightly and blend until smooth.
Return the sauce to the pot. Drain the pasta, and add to the pot of sauce. Toss the pasta in the sauce until well coated, let cool slightly, and enjoy!
What is Penne Pomodoro?
Penne pomodoro is an Italian dish that combines delicious penne pasta with a simple pasta sauce.
It uses some of the most basic ingredients (tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic, etc.) and takes only about twenty minutes to make the entire dish.
The sauce is very similar to marinara sauce, but has a thicker consistency.
Storage and Reheating
This is a great meal prep recipe and freezer meal.
The entire dish (pasta and sauce combined) can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to five days.
You can reheat it either in the microwave or on the stovetop. If reheating on the stovetop, I recommend adding ¼ cup of water to the pot you're reheating it in.
The sauce can be stored in a jar in the freezer for up to three months and reheated for future use.
Add Some Spice: To add a little kick to this simple pasta sauce, add ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
Make it Gluten Free: This entire recipe can easily be made gluten-free by opting for a gluten-free penne.
Make it Sweeter: You can add ¼ teaspoon sugar to the sauce as it cooks to cut through some of the acidity and make it sweeter.
Use a Different Pasta: Though the recipe and name calls for penne pasta, you can use any type of pasta that you have on hand.
Tip: San Marzano tomatoes already have great flavor and are typically less acidic than other types of tomatoes. If you prefer a sweeter sauce you can add an optional ¼ teaspoon sugar to sweeten things up.
Try some of my other pasta recipes next:
- Immersion blender Can use a traditional blender, see notes below
- 2 cups San Marzano tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup basil chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ pound penne pasta
- Start by cooking the pasta according to package instructions.
- Wash and prep ingredients according to ingredient list.
- Combine the olive oil and garlic in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium/low heat for about two minutes or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Be careful not to let the garlic burn.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, and salt to the pan. Stir and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until it becomes thick and smooth. See notes below if you do not have an immersion blender.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it and combine it in the pan with the sauce. Toss it until well coated in the sauce. Garnish with additional basil if desired. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.
Food Safety Tips
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when cooking with a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.