Italian Recipes

Easy ‘Spaghetti al Pomodoro fresco’ with Onion and Basil

Ingredients for 2 pp

SPAGHETTI - 200 g 
TOMATOES - 5/6 big ones
ONION - 1 medium/big
BASIL - few leaves
OLIVE OIL, garlic powder, Italian herbs mix, salt & pepper, (chilly) 

Prep time 1 h

Let me paint a picture for you: ‘Spaghetti al pomodoro fresco’ is the most classic Italian recipe. It’s an explosion of simple flavours; fresh, delicious and easy to do. Perfect to enjoy in the summer heat and adaptable to little changes to make it your favourite. This is in fact the base for any other red base pasta. You can add for example tuna, mozzarella, mushroom and sausage. Although you’ll need to adjust some herbs when you make modifications, so I will help you with those lately. ‘Spaghetti al pomodoro fresco’ is often what I choose when I feel overwhelmed by complicated tastes. This dish will cleanse your taste buds and let you enjoy the simple fresh flavours again.


TIP – Every Italian knows that a good thick sauce doesn’t come with the help of butter or cream – unless the recipe asks for them. So these are the steps to make your thick sauce without the help of creamy ingredients.

  1. Cut the onion in half and then cut it as fine as you can leaving them in half moon shape – it needs to become very very soft, to be easy to eat, so the finest you cut the quicker it will soften
  2. Add 3/4 table spoons of Extra Virgin olive oil – it depends on the amount of onion you have, but usually I prefer a bit more than less, to avoid to burn the onion
  3. Let the onions fry gently, mix often and always keep an eye on them at this stage – they’ll burn very easy if you leave them alone
  4. Once the oil starts to reduce, add hot boiling water to fill the bottom of the pan and low the heat – we want them to become clear and soft by absorbing all the water

Now you can add the tomatoes

  1. Lay them in the pan skin down first for about 5/7 minutes
  2. After you can start twist them up and down a few times until the skin starts to peel from the edges
  3. You can help this process by pushing them softly with a wooden ladle when they are skin up
  4. When they’re ready peel the skin with a tong – take your time cause there is no risk to burn now that the pulp is releasing
  5. Once they’re all peeled you can squeeze them with a ladle until you get a soft shiny sauce
  6. Add the spices and let them cook softly while you’re cooking the pasta


A tea spoon for each spice (you can avoid the garlic if it isn’t your favourite and the same is for the chilly).
You will need to taste and adjust if needed with salt and pepper and if you really feel there’s something missing add a table spoon of stock powder.


Cook the spaghetti according to package direction, but drain 2 minute before the suggested cooking time. When you drain try to don’t dump all the water from the pasta. Rather, spill a bit of it in the sauce pan together with the past and mix for 30 seconds out of the flame. This will help the spaghetti to absorb the juicy sauce which will become smooth and thick – as we planned from the beginning 😉 .


The basil will go in the sauce as soon as you put the pasta in the boiling water. You need at least 4/5 leaves – the more the better if you like it a lot. You can cook them as they are or cut them. To cut put them on a pile, roll them together, and cut tiny stripes out of the roll.

But, in my personal opinion, there is no right or wrong with basil, so go as you feel.

Done! Now you just need to share your ‘Spaghetti al pomodoro fresco’ with someone you love!

Enjoy, JuliaG.

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