Nice and Easy Pasta con Pomodoro

At the Cooking Mummies HQ we are all about easy, tasty, healthy and were possible, QUICK recipes! As you may have realised by looking through our recipes, we are heavily inspired by Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.

This recipe is inspired by an Italian classic: Pasta con Pomodoro (literally; Pasta with Tomato). It features 3 very simple ingredients: Tomatoes, Onion and Garlic for the sauce.

When we (Elisa and family) visited Italy in the spring, the kids pretty much ate Pasta con Pomodoro EVERY DAY! It amazed me, as my kids wouldn’t normally eat tomatoes (unless they are hidden and chopped up small within other food!). But the way the Italians bring simple ingredients together to maximise their natural flavour and retain most of the food’s nutritional value, is so damn tasty that even my 6 and 3 year old couldn’t get enough of it!

This then inspired me to find out more about how to make this simple and delicious pasta sauce, to incorporate it within our weekly dinner routine. As I said before, we are always on the look out for easy, tasty and healthy recipes. So I wanted to find out more about the main ingredient for this scrummy pasta sauce; The Tomato.

Did you know that Tomatoes are low in calories and provide important nutrients like vitamin C and potassium? I certainly didn’t! They are also rich in antioxidants. Wow! Well then, this made me even more convinced that I had to include this dish in my kids’ diet.

By researching traditional Italian recipes and doing a bit of trail and error, I finally came up with a version of this recipe that works for me and my family. This is now a great addition to our weekly dinner repertoire and a great way to get my kids to eat tomatoes.

I like to serve it with a generous amount of grated Parmigiano (yes I know, that is not quite so healthy… but we have to be a bit naughty with our food sometimes right?) and some crusty bread (I usually have ready to bake frozen baguettes in the freezer, so I just whack them in the oven for 10 minutes).

So, without going on too much, I now give you our version of this scrummy, nutritious and healthy(ish) dish.

We hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do!

As always, if you have any feedback or questions, please leave these in the comments section below.

Ingredients – Makes enough for 2 adults and 2 young kids (3 to 6 year old) – As your kids get older, you can always increase the portions/measurements.

Prep time – 10 minutes

Cooking time – 30 minutes

  • 1 400gr can of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium Onion
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves (depends on how much you like Garlic. We love it, so we use 2 cloves. But just 1 will also be fine)
  • Olive Oil (for cooking)
  • 1 tsp Dried Basil
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 260 gr Penne Pasta (80gr per adult, 50 gr per child)
  • Parmigiano (for serving)

For the Pasta; you can use any other Pasta of your choice like; Spaghetti, Fusilli, Farfalle… but we like it with Penne.


1. Peel the Onion and chop it up very finely (your eyes will sting for this, so be prepared! I find that wetting the knife helps).
Drizzle the Olive Oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook on medium to low heat for about 8 minutes, until the onion starts to soften and turn golden.

2. Turn the heat down. Peel and crush the Garlic clove/s and add to the pan, to fry with the onion for 2 minutes.

3. Open the can of Chopped Tomatoes and pour it all in to the pan. Add the Basil plus Salt and Pepper to taste. Mix well with the onion and garlic.
Leave on to simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t burn.

4. Whilst the sauce is simmering away, start getting the Pasta ready. Put on a pan of water to boil. When that is boiling nicely, add the Penne Pasta.
Cook based on the pack’s cooking instructions. We like “al dente” penne, so I usually cook them for 10-11 minutes.

Don’t forget to stir the Pasta and the sauce occasionally!

5. When the pasta is ready, sieve this and add to the sauce pan. Stir it all in with the sauce.

And there you go, it’s done! Soooooooooooooooooooooooo easy!

Serve with a generous amount of grated Parmigiano and some crusty bread (optional).

With grated Parmigiano on top.
With the Parmigiano stirred in and served with sliced crusty bread. Yummy!

There you go, a very easy and relatively healthy dish for your family. We love this dish and we hope you will too.

As always, we welcome any feedback and questions. Please let us know if you made this recipe and how it went. We’d love to hear from you!

Buon appetito 🙂

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