This spicy pomodoro sauce is the perfect vegan tomato sauce. It’s a great way to use up those summer tomatoes! Best of all, spaghetti with pomodoro sauce is a great Meatless Monday recipe.
We’re getting to that time in the year where we are swimming in juicy, ripe summer tomatoes and I love nothing more than a simple, bright tomato sauce. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated when you’ve got the most flavorful tomatoes that summer bounty has to offer.
This pomodoro sauce is so fabulous because you only need a handful of ingredients and, if you time it right, it’ll be ready right as your pasta finishes boiling.
How to make spicy pomodoro sauce:
Start with fresh, juicy tomatoes. Use any variety, such as heirloom, cherry, Campari, Roma, or use a blend. If you prefer to not fuss with skins, you can blanch and peel them first. I prefer to cook them down with the skins on and just use an immersion blender to pulverize everything. It’s a great time saver!
First, chop up all your tomatoes and set them aside.
Next, prepare the aromatics. Crush the garlic, slice the shallots into wedges, and cut the red Fresno into thick rounds. Remember, you’ll be pulverizing all of this with a food processor so no need to fuss with perfect dicing, mincing, or chopping!
After your ingredients are prepped, prepare the flavorful aromatic base for the sauce. Start with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil and heat it over medium heat. Add the garlic and let it sizzle for 30 seconds. Add the shallots and red Fresno and stir often, tipping the pan toward you so you can baste the aromatics in the oil.
From there, simply add the tomatoes and a big pinch of salt and let them simmer for about 25-30 minutes. Mash the tomatoes up as they cook and don’t worry if you see any skins floating around!
Finally, throw in a bit of pasta cooking water and blend the sauce until smooth. Toss it with the cooked spaghetti and that’s it! If you like, you can garnish the pasta with fresh herbs like basil or parsley, but we loved this sauce so much on its own that we didn’t even bother!
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Spicy Pomodoro Sauce
- Wide pot
- Large pot
- Immersion blender
- 2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 10 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 shallot peeled and sliced into wedges
- 1 red Fresno chili pepper trimmed and sliced into rounds
- 16 ounces spaghetti 1 cup pasta cooking water reserved
- Salt to taste
Sizzle the aromatics:
- Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and allow it to sizzle in the oil for 30 seconds.
- Add the shallot and red Fresno chili pepper. Tilt the pan toward you and base the aromatics in oil for 1-2 minutes until very fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Cook the tomatoes:
- Add the tomatoes to the oil and stir to incorporate. Add a big pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes until thickened and reduced. Add a splash of water, if necessary, if the tomatoes stick or reduce too quickly. Taste and season to your preferences.
Cook the pasta:
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water and set it aside.
- Drain the spaghetti and set aside. Note: Time this so the sauce has finished simmering before the spaghetti is done cooking.
Finish the pomodoro sauce:
- Add half of the reserved pasta cooking water to the tomato sauce and stir to incorporate. Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until completely smooth. Taste and season to your preferences.
Serve the spaghetti:
- Add the spaghetti to the sauce and toss to coat. Add more of the pasta cooking water, as necessary, to loosen up the sauce and to help the sauce stick to the spaghetti. Turn off the heat.
- Divide the spaghetti between plates and serve with your choice of garnishes, such as fresh basil, parsley, or grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!