What Italian’s crave…Pasta al Pomodoro!


I grew up in an Italian Canadian household and if we were ever strapped for time to get dinner on the table quickly, the “go to” was usually “Pasta al pomodoro”. This simply translates to “Pasta with tomatoes”. If there is one dish known throughout Italy, regardless of the Region, it would have to be this! If I have been traveling or away from my own home cooking for an extended period of time, this is what I crave…

I learned very quickly at a young age that for a very simple dish like this, ingredient selection is most important! With only 4 ingredients plus seasoning, the choice of ingredients here is paramount to the success of this dish. (Learn more about ingredient selection here!)

Authentic Italian cuisine is simple flavors at it’s best and this may be why Italian cuisine is one of the most loved in the world! Anyone can master Italian cuisine if you know how to select good quality products and bring them together so the ingredients shine!

This “Tomato, basil sauce” recipe is my family recipe, the one I grew up with and prepared for my own family for the last 32 years. It is 1 of 50+ recipes found in my cookbook, Natalina’s Kitchen: Bringing homemade back! This simple recipe will have you craving it too!

We recommend authentic, Martelli San Marzano dell’agro Sarnese-Nocerino Tomatoes for this recipe. These tomatoes and our cookbook can be found at all Pusateri’s Fine Food locations in Toronto, Ontario. Find locations here!

As an added bonus , with every purchase of these tomatoes this summer at Pusateri’s, you will get a ballot to enter their Summer Contest… Win 2 places, plus airfare for Natalina’s Kitchen, Taste of Calabria Tour this September! Contest details here!

Join me in my ancestral Region of Calabria for 10 days of food, wine, history and culture. It is going to be a memorable Taste of Calabria! Tour itinerary & details here!

Ciao for now, Natalina

Tomato Basil Sauce


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tin of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, 28 fl. oz. /796 ml, crushed by hand
  • 1 medium size onion or ½ medium size onion and 1 shallot chopped
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • Salt/pepper to taste


  • In a hot medium sized pot, add the oil, when hot (not smoking) add onions and shallots. (Med/high heat)
  • Sweat until fragrant and translucent, stirring occasionally
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, stir and bring to a boil.
  • Once it comes to a boil, reduce the temperature to a simmer
  • Place the lid on the pot with a small vent left open
  • Reduce the sauce until desired consistency is reached, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes
  • Add salt/pepper to taste and the basil torn into shreds.
  • Stir and this sauce is ready to enjoy!
  • Toss with your favorite pasta and serve with extra sauce, parmigiano Reggiano cheese and crushed chili peppers.
Bringing Homemade Back Since 2011
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