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Sheet Pan Pasta Pomodoro Sauce

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A summery, fresh tomato sauce, straight from the oven.

finished bowl of sheet pan roasted tomato pomodoro sauce with pasta

I usually default to canned, crushed San Marzano tomatoes for tomato sauce. But I also think that there is a time and place for fresh. That time and place is usually 1) in the height of summer; 2) in a pandemic when I can’t find good canned tomatoes; or 3) when I overbuy tomatoes and they start to go a little pruney or overripe. This sheet pan pasta pomodoro is the answer.

Ridiculously simple to pull off, this fresh tomato pomodoro requires no stirring, no sautéeing, and no peeling. Just toss the fresh tomatoes with olive oil, onion, salt, and pepper, and let the oven do the work.

You will also like: Springtime Pasta Carbonara and Classic Italian Meatballs

copper strainer with grape tomatoes and olive oil

Recipe Notes: Sheet Pan Pasta Pomodoro

Add the butter. It is optional and will taste great without it, but butter softens the edge off the acid from the tomatoes and helps build the sauce into something really silky and special.

You want a nice small dice on the onion so that it melts into the sauce instead of being a chunky half tomato, half onion sauce.

pot of spaghetti with cooked grape tomatoes on sheet pan

Drain the pasta when it is still short of being al dente. It should still be just this side of underdone. Like many pastas, the spaghetti will finish cooking in the pomodoro sauce, along with a little reserved pasta water. This allows the pasta to actually absorb some of the sauce and its flavor, instead of the sauce just sitting on top of the pasta.

plate of spaghetti and tomato sauce on white wood board

bowl of spaghetti and tomato sauce on white wood board

Sheet Pan Pasta Pomodoro

An oven-fresh tomato sauce, chunky and delicious.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keywords:: herbes de provence, pasta, pomodoro, tomato, tomato sauce
Servings: 2 cups (enough for 12 oz. pasta)
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds grape or other tomatoes (if using large tomatoes, slice into chunks)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced small
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 large pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional (but do it)
  • 12 ounces dried pasta of choice. I recommend spaghetti, buccatini, or fettuccini.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F, and line a rimmed half-sheet (18"×13") baking pan with parchment.
  • Mix all the ingredients together on the sheet pan, and spread in a single layer.
  • Roast the tomatoes for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are cooked well through until very jammy and most of the tomato water/liquid has cooked off.
  • While the tomatoes are in the last quarter of their cook time, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the directions, until just before al dente. Drain, reserving some pasta water, and then return the pasta to the dry pot.
  • Add the hot cooked tomatoes to the drained pasta with the butter and a couple tablespoons of pasta water. Stir vigorously over very low heat, until the tomatoes break down into a sauce and coat the pasta fully. If the sauce seems too dry or the pasta needs to cook more, add more pasta water as necessary. Taste for seasoning.
  • Serve with fresh basil, hot red pepper flakes, and plenty of freshly-grated pecorino-Romano cheese or aged Parmigiano-Reggiano.

13 comments

  • Geraldine

    5 stars
    My family and I loved your creamy farro dish
    It exceeded expectations
    Thank you for your inventiveness and integrity
    We also loved your exceptional carrot cake
    Your recipes are the highlight of my week

    • Unpeeled

      Hello, Geraldine and thank you so very much! I do try my best always, and so appreciate this positive feedback. It means a lot. I hope you continue to enjoy the recipes. Good things ahead!

  • 5 stars
    Added asparagus spears in 2 inch pieces. Contrast of flavours made it even more enjoyable. Also, for those who are FODMAP-vigilant you can omit the onions/garlic and still have a tasty sauce.

  • Denise S

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! So easy my husband loves to make it. One of our favorite dinners

  • 5 stars
    This was amazing!

  • 5 stars
    Had this for our Valentine’s dinner and we LOVED it! Will make again and again and again Easy and so tasty, love how jammy the tomatoes get.

  • Ángela

    5 stars
    Soo delicious! My family new favourite for sure. And yes, the butter makes a great difference!

  • 5 stars
    Mmm….good combo of very good and hands-free. I love any dinner than can be made on a sheet pan. Tasted very fresh.

  • I can’t wait to make this! Adding it to my dinner repertoire this week. Looks delish!

  • 5 stars
    No ideas fresh tomato sauce was this easy, as I always use canned. I made this for dinner last night because I already had tomatoes and it was wonderful. I added the butter and am glad I did. Thanks for this recipe. I will make this often.

    • Unpeeled

      Thanks, R.F.! Butter makes everything better, doesn’t it?

  • Kelly R.

    5 stars
    This is awesome.

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