This Italian Bucatini Pomodoro recipe is easy, uncomplicated, and absolutely delicious. Made using tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil, this classic authentic pasta dish requires few ingredients and minimal cooking. It's perfect for any night of the week!
When it comes to simple cooking, nothing is easier than tossing a pound of pasta with a jar of marinara sauce. But what if I told you there was something just as easy, but with better flavor? This bucatini pomodoro recipe requires few ingredients and minimal cooking.
Flavors of sweet tomato, fragrant garlic, and fresh basil marry with perfectly cooked bucatini. The result is pasta at its finest. It is creamy from the gently simmered pureed tomatoes and starchy pasta water. Finished with pads of rich butter and salty grated Parmesan cheese, this simple pasta is something to behold, especially when paired with my easy garlic butter rolls.
This is a beginner-friendly recipe made with simple ingredients. Despite this and its quick, easy cooking process, it looks impressive and tastes even better. This recipe is perfect for weeknight and weekend cooking. Enjoy a plate of this delicious bucatini pomodoro with a glass of wine and a basket full of garlic bread. If you love this recipe, you should also try this 20-Minute Cherry Tomato Basil Pasta variation.
Why You Will Love This Pasta Recipe
- It's easy. There is minimal prep required for this easy pasta recipe.
- This recipe uses simple ingredients. This simple bucatini recipe uses canned tomatoes, garlic, onion, fresh basil, and olive oil. There is nothing complicated about it. Simple ingredients that pack loads of flavor.
- This pasta dish is economical and family-friendly. Made with a few simple and affordable ingredients, this pasta makes six servings.
- It's DELICIOUS! Partially due to its simplicity and its quantity of garlic, pomodoro sauce is addictively tasty. It has the perfect balance of flavor from the acid of the tomatoes, subtle heat from the crushed red pepper flakes, and fragrance from the fresh ingredients.
This is one pasta recipe that you will want to make again and again.
What is Pasta Pomodoro?
The word Pomodoro means tomato in Italian. Naturally, pasta al pomodoro is made with pasta and a tomato-based sauce, a.k.a. pasta with tomato. This red sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil. It is a quick, light pasta dish compared to some other heavier pasta sauce recipes. And it is delicious.
- Bucatini Pasta
- Olive Oil
- Yellow Onion (diced small)
- Garlic (finely chopped)
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Whole Peeled Tomatoes (canned) - For best results, use San Marzano tomatoes.
- Unsalted Butter (cut into pieces)
- Parmesan Cheese (finely grated)
- Salt and Black Pepper
See the recipe card for ingredient quantities.
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil.
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Next, add garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes and cook for one minute.
Increase the heat to medium, and add pureed tomatoes and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Cook until just before al dente. Reserve ½ cup of starchy pasta water before draining.
Hint: Reserve extra pasta water for reheating leftovers.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, and toss to coat. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in butter and parmesan cheese until incorporated. Finally, stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bucatini - Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Capellini
- Yellow Onion - White Onion, Red Onion, Shallot
- Parmesan Cheese - Pecorino Romano
- Spicy - Double or triple the quantity of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Vegan - Swap the butter and cheese for vegan alternatives.
- Add Protein - Serve with cooked protein of choice.
Try this cherry tomato version of this recipe that uses cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, and lots of garlic.
What to Serve with Bucatini Pomodoro
While delicious on its own, pasta pomodoro pairs well with various proteins thanks to its simple flavor and ingredients. Serve with meatballs like my Easy Beef Meatballs, Italian sausage, chicken, salmon, or shrimp. Top with burrata cheese or alongside fresh mozzarella. Enjoy with Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad or a lightly dressed salad. And don't forget the garlic bread and wine!
Other Pasta Recipe Faves
- Chicken Sausage Pasta with Broccoli
- Lemon Garlic Pasta
- Easy Bolognese Sauce Recipe
- Orecchiette with Sausage and Peas
- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Breville Sous Chef 12 Cup Food Processor
- Cuisinart Chef's Classic 6-Quart Stainless Stockpot with Cover
- Stainless Steel Colander
- Cuisinart Chef's Classic 12-Inch Nonstick-Hard-Anodized Skillet
- imarku Japanese Chef Knife
Transfer cooled pasta to an airtight container. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. How long does Bucatini Pomodoro stay fresh? This pasta will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
How Do You Reheat Leftover Pasta?
While you can simply microwave leftovers until heated, the best way to reheat pasta is in a skillet. Place a small amount of olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Introduce the pasta and add the reserved starchy pasta water. Toss until coated. Cook until heated through. Add extra butter and Parmesan, if desired.
- Salt your pasta water. Once the water is boiling, generously salt the water and then add the pasta.
- Reserve extra pasta water for leftovers. The starchy pasta water does wonders for leftovers. In addition to the reserved ½ cup for the recipe, reserve an additional ½ cup to 1 cup of starchy water before draining the pasta.
- Cook the pasta just under al dente (roughly 2 minutes before). It will finish cooking in the sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Similar to spaghetti in its length and shape but thicker, bucatini is a long pasta with a hole running through the center. Think of them as long pasta tubes.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced small
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 28 oz whole peeled tomatoes pureed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lb bucatini pasta
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter cut into pieces
- ½ oz fresh basil torn or sliced thin; plus more for garnish
- salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large skillet over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil.
- Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes and cook for one minute.
- Increase the heat to medium, and add pureed tomatoes and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Cook until just before al dente. Reserve ½ cup of starchy pasta water before draining the pasta.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, and toss to coat. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in butter and parmesan cheese until incorporated. Finally, stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with additional parmesan cheese and basil.
- STORE: Transfer cooled pasta to an airtight container. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.