Tomato Sauce Pasta is a classic pasta recipe with fresh flavours of homemade tomato sauce. Ready in under 30 minutes. It is a fabulous family-friendly vegetarian meal. Be sure to watch the video!
I am sharing a classic tomato sauce pasta recipe, or as I like to call it, pasta in red sauce. It is the ultimate definition of comfort food. So easy to make, tastes delicious, and is highly customizable.
From shrimp and chicken to beef and vegetables, you can add ingredients of your choice to make a delicious bowl of red sauce pasta just the way you like.
Tomato sauce: I have used homemade marinara sauce flavoured with garlic, onion, and basil for this pasta recipe.
Pasta: Penne pasta or spaghetti perfectly fits the robust red sauce. I love how sauce clings within the tubes of penne pasta, making each bite full of flavours.
Vegetables: This tomato sauce pasta recipe lists the seasonal vegetables I prefer in my pasta – bell peppers and zucchini. From mushrooms, peppers, squash, pumpkin, green peas, to green leafy vegetables, you can add any vegetables.
Herbs: Fresh basil adds so much life to the pasta. The basil leaves flavour cuts down the tomato’s acidity and makes the pasta taste so much more authentic.
Cheese: I prefer parmesan, cheddar or mozzarella to sprinkle on my red sauce pasta. For a vegan pasta dish, skip dairy-based cheese and use nutritional or vegan cheese instead.
Homemade Tomato Sauce
The soul of the red sauce pasta is the homemade tomato sauce.
A delicious, multi-purpose pizza cum pasta sauce adds deep flavour to the humble pasta. No store-bought sauce can do the magic!
My tomato sauce is gluten-free and vegetarian. You can store it in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 weeks. Or freeze it for months.
How To Boil Pasta Perfectly
To cook pasta perfectly you need – a large saucepan or pot, water, salt, tongs, and a metal colander.
- Step 1) Boil water in a large saucepan. If you are using 1 cup of pasta, add at least 6 cups of water. Season the water generously with salt. This way, you will always end up with well-seasoned pasta and not a bland one.
- Step 2) Once the water starts boiling vigorously, add pasta and stir so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Don’t break the pasta; it will soften up within 30 seconds.
- Step 3) Test the pasta by tasting it to check for doneness. Pasta cooked properly should be al dente—a little chewy. Or cook it for a little longer time if you prefer over-cooked pasta.
- Reserve some of the starchy boiled pasta water to flavour the sauce.
- Step 4) Drain cooked pasta in a metal colander. If serving hot, add to the sauce right away. If you’re making a pasta salad, run under cold water to stop the cooking.
Tomato Sauce Pasta is a fulfilling main course dish in itself. A few of my favourite side dishes to serve with it are:
warm bread such as focaccia or garlic bread
green leafy salad
Watch Pasta Video
More Pasta Recipes
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Classic Tomato Sauce Pasta Recipe
- Stir Fry Pan
- 200 gram penne pasta
- 2 Cup tomato sauce/marinara sauce (see recipe here)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- ½ Cup finely chopped zucchini
- ½ Cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- Salt to taste
- 4 – 5 fresh basil leaves
- ¼ Cup sliced black olives
- ¼ Cup cherry tomato, cut into halves
- ¼ Cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Prepare the homemade tomato sauce (See how to prepare pizza/pasta sauce at home).
- Next, boil the pasta in salted water till al-dente or cooked as per your liking. Drain water from the boiled pasta and transfer it to a colander. Reserve a cup of the pasta water to flavor the sauce later.
- In a non-stick stir fry pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir fry zucchini and bell pepper till it for 3 – 5 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Transfer the tomato sauce to a pan. Turn on the heat. Add the boiled pasta along with the stir-fry vegetables and stir to combine. Add oregano and red chili flakes.
- Cook on a medium flame for 3 – 5 minutes for the pasta to absorb the flavors of the sauce while stirring the pasta occasionally in between. Adjust the consistency of the sauce by using reserved pasta water.
- Before serving the pasta, add fresh basil leaves, olives, cherry tomato, extra virgin olive oil, and grated cheese.
- Serve tomato sauce pasta warm with toasted garlic bread on the side.
- Tomato Sauce for the pasta can be prepared a day or two in advance and store it in the fridge. Watch my video of homemade tomato sauce.
- You can use penne, spaghetti, or any other shell-shaped pasta for the tomato sauce.
- After adding cheese you can bake the pasta as well for 5 – 10 minutes at 180 degrees C, for a crusty, cheesy texture.
- If black olives are not available use green olives.