clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Penne Pomodoro

Penne Pomodoro

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x


Penne pomodoro pairs the Italian classic tomato sauce with chewy penne pasta and Parmesan cheese. A dinnertime winner!



For the sauce (makes 7 cups; make in advance as desired)

  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 celery rib, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 28-ounce cans high quality peeled whole tomatoes
  • 1 large handful basil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the pasta (makes 4 modest servings)

  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Finely chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Place the minced onion, garlic, celery, carrots, whole canned tomatoes, basil, olive oil and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a large saucepan. Simmer for 45 minutes with a lid ajar, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from the heat and rest 5 minutes. Discard the basil leaves. Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the sugar and several grinds black pepper. Blend until smooth (or pulse for a chunkier texture). Taste and add more salt as desired (we typically add another 1/2 teaspoon or more).
  3. Meanwhile, start a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the penne and boil until al dente (check a few minutes before the package instructions indicate). Drain and return to the pot.
  4. Stir in 2 cups pomodoro sauce, then add more to taste if desired. Top generously with grated Parmesan or grated Pecorino cheese before serving (or, stir it into the warm sauce). If desired top with finely chopped parsley. Enjoy immediately or stores refrigerated up to 3 days.
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian