This basic parmesan pomodoro is my go-to pomodoro recipe! It gets so much flavor from simmering away with basil, garlic, a carrot and a Parmigiano rind. The rind is the secret here – it takes the sauce to the next level! I always save my rinds from Parmigiano and stick them in the freezer for when I make this recipe.
The other secret to why this recipe is so delicious is the tomatoes. I love a sweet, vibrant tomato sauce, and canned cherry tomatoes – aka, Pomodorini – are the best for that. They’re much sweeter than other varieties of canned tomatoes! That said, you can make this sauce with San Marzano tomatoes as well – the resulting sauce may not be quite as sweet, but it will be just as tasty.
Basic Parmesan Pomodoro
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for finishing
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- 3 14 ounce cans peeled cherry tomatoes, such as Corbara
- 3 large full stems basil
- 1 carrot peeled and cut in half
- 1/2 pound parmigiano reggiano cheese rinds, cut into 3 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound pasta, such as pappardelle
- 3 to 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- As seen on: Giada in Italy, Episode 8. Favorites From Italy.
- Heat a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and the garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the garlic for 5 minutes, stirring often and mashing gently with a wooden spoon, until golden brown and beginning to soften. Add the cherry tomatoes and their juices, the basil, carrot and the parmesan rinds. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Bring to a simmer and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 35 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Season the sauce with the salt. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
- Remove the rinds, carrot and the basil. At this point you can use an immersion blender to puree slightly or leave it as a chunky sauce.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than the package directions. Meanwhile, rewarm the sauce in a large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Using a spider, strain the pasta from the water and add directly into the pan with sauce. Before stirring, sprinkle the pasta with the 1/2 cup of grated parmesan. Toss the pasta, cheese and sauce together. Add the butter, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 cup of pasta water and continue to cook until the sauce is creamy and the pasta is al dente.
- Serve topped with more cheese if desired.