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5 things everyone should know about SPAGHETTI AL POMODORO +recipe.

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Have you ever wondered which are the key points to master behind a stunning bowl of Pasta? Spaghetti al Pomodoro seems an oh-so-easy recipe, but basically, it happens more often than you’d think to face a Pasta that isn’t so satisfying as it should, right?

And above all, in the Pasta – which at least – appears the simplest, the most iconic, there are some small details essential for a memorable result. Like the case of Spaghetti al Pomodoro. It seems like an easy recipe, but well, it’s not so obvious to achieve a tasty result.

Learn how to prepare – and cook – at perfection the Iconic Spaghetti al Pomodoro with our easy and fast 5 steps method – and 100% Italian approved recipe – and get ready to be amazed by a WOW bowl of Spaghetti.

PST: if you want to give a try to our tasted-till-perfect recipe for Spaghetti a Pomodoro, download it here.

LET’S SEE TOGETHER THE 5 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN COOKING SPAGHETTI AL POMODORO:

1. FIRST THING FIRST: DON’T BE STINGY WITH THE WATER AND THE SALT!

Even before turning on the stove, fill a large pot generously with tap water. Use a Pot capable of accommodating your spaghetti (in HEIGHT!!!), leaving them enough space to dance around.

We used to start from room temperature/cold water and be patient for a couple of more minutes to let it warm up. If in a rush, fill it with lukewarm or hot water to shorten the time it reaches the boil.

The amount of water you are gonna use is one of the major things to consider when cooking your pasta. It doesn’t have to be too much to return quickly to the boil once the pasta has been thrown in. But – even more important – it doesn’t have to be never not enough.

Cooking your pasta will take a bunch of time; the more the quality or the thickness, the longest will be the cooking time. So we mustn’t run out from the water (and our pasta will be so uncovered) to have uniform cooking. The rule here is to use a liter of water for every 100 grams of Pasta. Keep it in mind!

Have you ever thought just a pinch of salt could change completely how your Pasta will taste?

Even if it’s often taken for granted, adding the PROPER amount of salt to our cooking water will save us from ending up with a bland and lacking in pleasantness Pasta.

And…I hear you thinking that you will compensate a lot with the sauce, but please trust us here: it will not be the same thing.

The taste, the pleasure of eating one forkful after another will be affected. Check the amount of salt we use in our recipe, and if you prefer to add a bit more, just go ahead but don’t reduce it, please. Deal?

2. SPEND SOME TIME ON THE SAUCE!

If you think that to get the perfect sauce, it’s simply necessary to open up the best tomato sauce you get your hands on and throw it up on your pasta, well…sorry, I’ll disappoint you, my friend.

The major goal at all, when prepping pasta, is to end up with a reach, creamy, and well-seasoned sauce able to embrace our pasta. A sauce without liquid separation, no raw-ish sensation, and not arid.

Unless you start with an already made tomato sauce (but so, why you should be here, right?), we need to work a bit around the tomato base to get a rich, tasty, and smooth sauce. Even if we can pull out a perfect one in 15minutes while your pasta is cooking, it always needs a bit of love, flavor, of work.

If you are thinking what the heck I’m talking about (or if you ever hear about Marinara sauce!). Check out here what Italians call – for real – Red Sauce and the different Tomato products we use.

Back to the point. Remember. Always flavor your tomato sauce. Always get it a bit of cook and stop the cooking at the right texture. It needs to be velvety, creamy, and pulpy.

You can choose if to start with canned products (like whole peeled tomatoes, tomato puree, or tomato paste) as a base. Or from scratch with fresh tomatoes. You can find both methods in our Spaghetti al Pomodoro recipe. Download it below.

Just please remember that in a recipe like Spaghetti al Pomodoro, the quality is front and center. There is nothing else to enrich of flavor (or cover a shoddy taste) of our Pasta. Please work with the best quality you can find or afford. It will be worth it!

3. COOK IT RIGHT!

I know every pasta lover has cooked plates and plates of pasta endlessly, and by now, we often go to autopilot, but … have you ever been lost in thought or being a bit too much on a multitasking level to forget some basics in cooking pasta?

Honestly is a yes to me. I have on my count too many late nights trying to get dinner ready as soon I enter the home while finishing time-sensitive emails for my corporate job. So here for all of us a quick “cooked at perfection pasta” checklist as a memo:

  • Throw in the pasta when the water boils
  • Give it a good stir in the first minute
  • As soon as the boiling resumes, set the timer
  • Mix it gently, every once in a while.
  • A couple of minutes before the timer rings, start tasting it to keep an eye on the cooking-texture preferences.
  • Remember that we are going to continue pasta cooking also in the sauce, so drain it “al dente” as we called “to be firm to the bite.”
  • Drain it in a colander, over the sink, and season it right away

Now, when it comes to this blog post topic: spaghetti, please be patient with me and let me throw out my Italian Food-picky-soul. Spaghetti does not ever, I mean ever, have to be broken. Sorry, but it really breaks our hearts!

If you prefer them in a short format, why you don’t buy another pasta shape? We have more than 3-hundred to choose from. If your breaking method is instead due to a simpler way of cooking, give it a try at what we use to do.

Chek out our recipe to see how you can turn out with a beautiful long, whole twist of spaghetti al pomodoro perfectly cooked!

4. MANTECA AS AN ITALIAN: EMBRACE THE ART OF STIRRING TOGETHER PASTA + SAUCE

When pasta and sauce meet – in the pan, NOT IN THE PLATE! – is where the magic happens.

We had many students at our virtual or in-person cooking classes that used to cook perfectly the pasta, have a stunning sauce ready on the side and … ruin all the efforts made in a matter of seconds.

How? well, they used to drain the pasta and transfer it – immediately – on a plate or in a bowl.

That would be something that already can shock us, 100% Italians, even before we saw that they put on top of it a rich spoonful of sauce and … that’s it.

And yes, please remember that here at Italian Food Stories, we are for sure Italian Food Nerd, with no shame, it is what it is. but really we aim to help you all have the instruments to learn how we use to do things in Italy, How an Italian dish should be made then… if you prefer to do something different, that’s the beauty of the cooking art, of personal expressions.

After reading this, if you would like to use ketchup or tomatoes and cream to dress up your pasta, fine, of course! But if you want to dive deep into what authentic Italian food culture is … I’m sorry, but now and then, we need to go through some inaccurate habits we’d like to change when it comes to Italian Food Culture abroad.

But back to the point,

Why is it important to toss the just-drained pasta into the sauce before serving it?

Because that’s the moment when flavors combined and gained a complex, harmonious general taste. Plus it’s when the sauce embrace, grip the pasta and will avoid us a separated combination of slippery and viscous pasta and stand-alone wasted good sauce.

This is what we do: as soon as you drain your spaghetti, we use to remove a cup of the cooking water, and on a medium flame, add it a little at a time to our sauce. Then as soon as drained, we toss the spaghetti in it – while the sauce needs to be hot kind of simmer! And check if the water quantity seems enough while stirring our pasta and sauce together.

You can see detailed instructions in our recipe. But generally, we keep our spaghetti and sauce cook together for at least a couple of minutes to end up with a creamy result.

If you feel your sauce is too dry, arid, use the cup of warm cooking water to water it down a bit. If it’s too watery, turn up your stove and let it dry as soon as possible to avoid overcooking the pasta.

It will take you some practice. Don’t be discouraged if there will be something you like to improve on the first try.

Cooking is not an exact science. it depends on too many factors like quality of ingredients, maturation points, equipment types, etc. It’s more on developing attitude and taste.

And this takes us to the next step.

5. TASTE, TASTE, TASTE, AND TASTE AGAIN ON REPEAT.

Nature products, and so ingredients, aren’t always the same. (And thank God, I’d say.). Not just depending on where we are, the quality we buy, how they were farmed, even if we bought the same canned tomato for ages, our outcome could be different every time.

Because every ingredient has a different taste according to the season, based on how the weather was, without considering any recipe changes in the various processes before reaching us, cooking the pasta, without ever tasting it, following the cooking time on the package to the letter, it may not turn out as we want it, as we like it.

We are not all the same. Our taste buds, personal tastes are – fortunately – very different from each other. Always taste every step of what you cook. It is the only way to arrive at a result that satisfies you completely.

If your tomato has a sweeter flavor than last time, automatically add a pinch of salt; if it is too acid, balance it with a pinch of sugar.

There is just no one written in the stone right way or end-taste to archive. And, I know, it could be daunting sometimes, but that’s the beauty. These are the things that each of us will find over time, with their own taste, leading to maintaining that fantastic feature that cooking at home means: it is hand down from family to family, upon personal tastes.

NOW THAT YOU HAVE ALL THE 5 STEPS THAT CAN LEAD YOU TO A MEMORABLE BOWL OF SPAGHETTI AL POMODORO…

It’s your time to get in the kitchen. Take our best Spaghetti al Pomdoro recipe, use it as a guideline, and make it yours.

We can not wait to see your beautiful outcome!

If you have any questions or needs, write us an email or jump on our Facebook group, where you can meet other Italian Foodies like us.

Ciao,

Laura

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We’ve been working in this field for more than 15 years now and have been cooking together our families every day since we were born, learned (and still getting better every time) how to make fresh Pasta from sfogline, graduate in the Slow Food University, took sommelier courses and so much on. After years and years of real-life school, WINS and FAILURES we have put everything together here. For Italian Food Lover like us.

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We're
Enrico & Laura

We're Enrico & Laura

A 100% made in Italy duo living a life and a business career devoted to Italian Food. Here to serve you, piping hot, all the insiders’ secrets to master the art of authentic Italian cooking.

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