Pomodoro sauce is a thick and flavorful Italian pasta sauce recipe made with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, onion and garlic. An easy and delicious homemade sauce the whole family will love!

It only takes a few (hands-on) minutes and very basic ingredients to make your own simple Pomodoro sauce, and this recipe has the most wonderful authentic Italian flavor. This sauce is great on spaghetti, meatballs, pizza and more!

This easy Pomodoro sauce recipe is a staple in my kitchen, and I hope it becomes a go-to recipe for you too! There are so many uses for it and as an added plus, my daughter loves it!

I get that it’s really convenient to grab a jar of pasta sauce from the grocery store. That being said, I find that so many store-bought sauces aren’t all that flavorful. Most lack that rich, bold taste and many also contain ingredients like vegetable oil, sugar, preservatives and tons of salt. This Pomodoro sauce tastes so much better than the store-bought kind, that it’s really worth it to take the extra time and make it at home.

cooking Pomodoro Sauce in a large pot

What is Pomodoro Sauce?

“Pomodoro” means “tomato” in Italian, and that’s exactly what this is — a fresh tomato sauce that’s wonderful served over pasta. Pomodoro sauce is simple and light. The tomato-based pasta sauce is made from a combination of fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and fresh Italian herbs.

Pomodoro Vs. Marinara

The ingredients for Pomodoro sauce and marinara sauce are typically about the same. However, the consistency is different. Pomodoro is thick and smooth and marinara is runnier and chunky. 

Pasta Pomodoro Ingredients:

Since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, you’ll want to use only the best quality ingredients for amazing flavor! Here’s what you’ll be needing:

  • Fresh tomatoes. You’ll need about 12 Roma tomatoes. Roma tomatoes have a tangy, garden-fresh tomato taste. They also have more flesh and less liquid, which makes them the perfect choice for Pomodoro sauce. 
  • Olive oil. I recommend using a high-quality light olive oil. This olive oil is my favorite and I also really like this more budget-friendly olive oil as well.
  • Fresh herbs. I used a combo of basil and oregano but anything works well! Feel free to sub the fresh herbs for dried or use 1-2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning.
  • Onion. Finely-diced onion is a classic ingredient in pasta sauce recipes. White or yellow onion will work.
  • Garlic. I love the delicious garlic flavor in this sauce. You can use finely minced or grated garlic. And I highly recommend using fresh garlic, rather than the jarred kind.
  • Salt & pepper. Once the sauce is cooked, taste and add more salt and pepper (plus a pinch of sugar), as desired)

Spicy Pomodoro. For a kick of heat, add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce.

stirring pasta sauce with a wooden spoon

How to make Pomodoro Sauce:

Making homemade spaghetti Pomodoro couldn’t be easier! Here’s a quick rundown of the process, but for full instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Prep tomatoes. Quarter the tomatoes and lightly scrape out most of the seeds. Discard the seeds and place the tomatoes into a food processor. Puree the tomatoes until very little chunks remain. Place a fine mesh sieve over top of a large bowl and then pour the tomato mixture into the sieve so that the bowl catches the excess liquid. Keep the liquid as you may need it later. 
  2. Sauté onion and garlic. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Mix in the tomatoes, ½ cup of the tomato liquid that drained out, and the herbs.
  3. Simmer sauce. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, partially covered, for 1 hour, stirring a few times. As desired, you can add in more of the tomato liquid if you like a thinner sauce and if not, you can discard the leftover liquid.
  4. Serve and enjoy! Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper (plus a pinch of sugar as desired). Serve over pasta and ENJOY!
cooking Pomodoro Sauce in a large pot with a wooden spoon

Ways to use Pomodoro Sauce:

You can use this flavorful sauce any way that you would use marinara sauce! Here are some tasty suggestions:

Serve Pomodoro Sauce over your favorite pasta (angel hair, spaghetti, rigatoni, rotini or penne), zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or pastas made with vegetables. 

You can also use it to make ravioli, ziti or lasagna. Also, try it with chicken or eggplant parmesan, or with the meatballs in my Easy Vegan Meatballs recipe!

Storing & Freezing

Storing leftovers. Once prepared, this Pomodoro sauce will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. To reheat the sauce, add it to a pot on the stove and heat until warm. Or reheat, covered, in the microwave in 20-30 second intervals until warm.

Freezing. This sauce can be frozen! If you are someone who likes to meal prep, you can make a large batch and put it into freezer safe containers or baggies and freeze for 3 months. Be sure the sauce has completely cooled before sealing the container. Don’t forget to label the container with the date!

Make ahead. Pomodoro is very good the first day. However, if you have the chance to make the sauce a day or two ahead of time, it will give the ingredients time to marry and become even more delicious.

Pomodoro Sauce in a small glass jar

If your family loves pasta dishes, using this homemade Pomodoro Sauce instead of jarred sauces is a game-changer. Once you taste the difference that a simple homemade sauce can make, you may never go back!

More Simple Sauces:

If you love this Pomodoro Sauce, give these other favs a try!

As usual, PLEASE let me know if you make this recipe and how you like it! You can come back here and leave a comment and/or tag me on instagram (@foodwithfeeling).

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Pomodoro sauce over spaghetti

Simple Pomodoro Sauce


  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Pomodoro sauce is a thick and flavorful Italian pasta sauce recipe made with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, onion and garlic. An easy and delicious homemade sauce the whole family will love!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 pounds of fresh tomatoes (about 12 roma tomatoes)
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ⅓ cup fresh herbs (I used a combo of basil and oregano but anything works well!)*
  • ⅓ cup of onion, finely diced or grated
  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional pinch of sugar

Instructions

  1. Start by quartering your tomatoes and lightly scraping out most of the seeds. Don’t stress trying to get ALL of them out (unless you REALLY hate tomato seeds). A few seeds in the sauce is perfectly fine. Discard the seeds and place the tomatoes into a food processor (I usually do this in 2 rounds). Puree the tomatoes until very little chunks remain.
  2. Place a fine mesh sieve over top of a large bowl and then pour the tomato mixture into the sieve so that the bowl catches the excess liquid. Keep the liquid as you may need it later. 
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Mix in the tomatoes, ½ cup of the tomato liquid that drained out, and the herbs.
  4. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, partially covered, for 1 hour, stirring a few times. As desired, you can add in more of the tomato liquid if you like a thinner sauce and if not, you can discard the leftover liquid.
  5. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper (plus a pinch of sugar as desired). Serve over pasta and ENJOY!

Notes

*Herbs – You can sub the fresh herbs for dried or use 1-2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Category: sauce
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Pomodoro sauce, Pasta pomodoro, Spaghetti pomodoro