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5 from 5 votes

Penne Pomodoro

This Penne Pomodoro is the simplest tomato pasta recipe made with an easy, flavour-packed tomato sauce and fresh basil leaves. This recipe comes together in just 10 minutes making it perfect for busy weeknights or when you're short on time.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 410kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 4 cups penne pasta (400g/14oz)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups pureed tomatoes , passata (350g)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (tomato purée UK)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil plus extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly grated parmesan for garnish if desired


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous amount of salt. Cook the penne pasta until al dente (around 8-10 minutes).
  • Put the oil, fresh and dried herbs and garlic in a skillet (frying pan) and saute the garlic until fragrant.
  • Meanwhile, add the pureed tomatoes (passata) and tomato paste and stir to combine. Gently simmer the sauce until the penne pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes.
  • Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain the rest and add the pasta to the sauce.
  • Toss or stir the pasta to coat in the sauce, add a little splash of reserved pasta water to help emulsify the sauce. When coated add in some fresh chopped basil and stir, serve.



  • Make sure to salt the pasta water generously.
  • As soon as the water comes to a boil add the pasta and start cooking the sauce.
  • Make sure to reserve 1 cup of pasta water, you won't need it all but a splash or two will help emulsify the sauce adding even more flavour.
  • Use high-quality tomatoes for this recipe. I recommend Cirio and use them for every recipe that uses canned or jarred tomatoes. A cheap brand will likely be too watery and acidic and won't give you a great sauce.
  • Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the sauce before adding the pasta.
  • If you don't have penne pasta then any pasta shape will do from rigatoni to spaghetti.
  • You can make the sauce in advance to make the meal even quicker when you're ready to eat.
  • You can also make a double or triple or even more of the sauce and freeze it for later.


Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 648mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 618IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 3mg