10 Traditional Italian Pasta Recipes with Tomato Sauce

Traditional Italian pasta recipes with tomato sauce

As the famous saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Well, when it comes to food, you can’t go wrong with indulging in some traditional Italian pasta dishes. And what better way to enjoy pasta than with a delicious and rich tomato sauce?

In this blog post, we’ll explore some classic Italian pasta recipes that use tomato sauce as their base. Whether you’re a pasta lover or just looking to try something new, these recipes are sure to delight your taste buds.

A brief history of Italian pasta

Before we dive into the recipes, let’s take a quick look at the history of Italian pasta. Contrary to popular belief, pasta actually originated in China, not Italy. Marco Polo brought it to Italy in the 13th century, and over time, it became an essential component of Italian cuisine.

Today, pasta comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, from spaghetti to penne to fusilli. It’s often served with a variety of sauces, including tomato sauce, pesto, and carbonara.

Classic Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

We’ll start with the classic spaghetti with tomato sauce. This dish is simple yet delicious, and it’s a staple in Italian cuisine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of spaghetti
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pan and cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add the can of crushed tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the tomato sauce.
  8. Toss the spaghetti in the sauce until it’s well coated.
  9. Serve the spaghetti hot, garnished with fresh basil if desired.

Penne alla Vodka

Next up, we have penne alla vodka. This dish is a bit more complex than spaghetti with tomato sauce, but it’s well worth the effort.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of penne pasta
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of vodka
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pan and cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add the can of crushed tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the vodka to the pan and stir to combine.
  8. Cook the sauce for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the alcohol has evaporated.
  9. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream.
  10. Cook the sauce for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
  11. 11. Once the penne pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the sauce.
  1. Toss the pasta in the sauce until it’s well coated.
  2. Serve the penne alla vodka hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Linguine with Clam Sauce

For seafood lovers, linguine with clam sauce is a must-try. This dish is simple yet flavorful, and it’s a classic Italian recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of linguine
  • 2 cans of clams, drained (reserve the clam juice)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 1/4 cup of clam juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the linguine according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the white wine to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Add the clam juice to the pan and stir to combine.
  6. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add the drained clams to the pan and stir to combine.
  8. Simmer the sauce for 5-7 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
  9. Once the linguine is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the clam sauce.
  10. Toss the linguine in the sauce until it’s well coated.
  11. Serve the linguine with clam sauce hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Last but not least, we have spaghetti carbonara. This dish is a bit different from the previous recipes in that it doesn’t use tomato sauce as its base. Instead, it uses eggs, bacon, and Parmesan cheese to create a creamy and flavorful sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of spaghetti
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the chopped bacon to the pan and cook until crispy.
  4. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the bacon and garlic.
  7. Turn off the heat and add the egg and cheese mixture to the pan.
  8. Toss the spaghetti in the sauce until it’s well coated and the sauce thickens slightly.
  9. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve the spaghetti carbonara hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Rigatoni with Sausage and Peppers

This hearty pasta dish is perfect for a cozy dinner at home. The combination of sweet bell peppers and spicy Italian sausage creates a flavorful sauce that’s sure to satisfy your cravings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of rigatoni
  • 4 Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the rigatoni according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the sliced bell peppers and diced onion to the pan and cook until they start to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the Italian sausage to the pan and cook, breaking it up into small pieces with a spatula or wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through.
  6. Add the can of crushed tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine.
  7. Season the sauce with dried oregano, salt, and pepper to taste.
  8. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
  9. Once the rigatoni is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the sausage and peppers.
  10. Toss the rigatoni in the sauce until it’s well coated.
  11. Serve the rigatoni with sausage and peppers hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

According to legend, Italian prostitutes created this spicy and flavorful pasta dish using whatever ingredients they had on hand. Today, it’s a classic Italian dish enjoyed around the world.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of spaghetti
  • 1 can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the can of crushed tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Add the chopped olives, capers, and red pepper flakes to the pan and stir to combine.
  6. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
  8. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the sauce.
  9. Toss the spaghetti in the sauce until it’s well coated.
  10. Serve the spaghetti alla puttanesca hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Fettuccine Alfredo

This rich and creamy pasta dish is a favorite of many, and it’s surprisingly simple to make. The secret to its velvety texture is a combination of butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fettuccine
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the fettuccine according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the heavy cream to the pan and stir to combine.
  4. Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer the sauce for 5-10 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
  7. Once the fettuccine is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the sauce.
  8. Toss the fettuccine in the sauce until it’s well coated.
  9. Serve the fettuccine Alfredo hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Spaghetti Bolognese

This classic Italian dish features a rich and meaty tomato sauce that’s slow-cooked to perfection. It’s a favorite of many, and it’s easy to see why.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of spaghetti
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the diced onion to the pan and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the ground beef to the pan and cook until browned, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.
  6. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and red wine to the pan and stir to combine.
  7. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Simmer the sauce for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and the flavors meld together.
  9. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the sauce.
  10. Toss the spaghetti in the sauce until it’s well coated.
  11. Serve the spaghetti Bolognese hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Rigatoni alla Genovese

This unique pasta dish hails from Naples and features a sweet and savory onion-based sauce that’s slow-cooked to perfection. It’s a comforting and delicious meal that’s sure to become a family favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of rigatoni
  • 2 pounds of onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook the rigatoni according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the thinly sliced onions to the pan and cook until soft and translucent, about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Add the white wine to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Add the beef broth to the pan and stir to combine.
  6. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Simmer the sauce for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and the flavors meld together.
  8. Once the rigatoni is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the sauce.
  9. Toss the rigatoni in the sauce until it’s well coated.
  10. Serve the rigatoni alla Genovese hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

Penne all’Arrabbiata

This spicy pasta dish is a favorite in Italy, and it’s easy to see why. The fiery tomato sauce is the perfect complement to the tender penne pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of penne
  • 1 can (28 oz) of crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook the penne according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the can of crushed tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine.
  5. Add the red pepper flakes to the pan and stir to combine.
  6. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
  8. Once the penne is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the sauce.
  9. Toss the penne in the sauce until it’s well coated.
  10. Serve the penne all’arrabbiata hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Conclusion

In conclusion, traditional Italian pasta dishes with tomato sauce are a delicious and easy way to enjoy a classic Italian meal. 

Whether you prefer simple spaghetti with tomato sauce or a more complex dish like penne alla vodka, there’s something for everyone.

So why not try your hand at making one of these recipes tonight? Your taste buds will thank you!

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