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Perfect Pasta Pomodoro

Scott Conant's pasta pomodoro recipe
Nathan Congleton / TODAY


  • 5 pounds plum tomatoes, ripe
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • ¼ bunch, basil
For serving
  • Spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
  • Pomodoro sauce
  • Butter
  • Basil leaves
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Chili flakes

Chef notes

Chef Scott Conant's pasta pomodoro is like heaven in your mouth. It's a sensory experience that can never be forgotten. The only downside is that no other pasta pomodoro will ever taste as good. Here, he shared his secret for making a remarkable tomato sauce that's unlike any other. 


Remove core of tomatoes.  

Blanch tomatoes and shock in ice water. Remove skin and discard.  Deseed the tomatoes and strain the liquid from the seeds through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve the liquid.  Discard the seeds.

Put peeled tomatoes, juice, and salt a large bowl.  Mix the salt into the tomatoes and set aside.

Place garlic in a saucepot and cover with the olive oil. Cook over very low heat until garlic is golden and soft.  Strain and reserve oil.

In a heavy bottom, large stockpot, add the infused garlic oil and chili flakes.  Turn heat to low for about 2 minutes, slowly blooming the chili flakes.

Add the salted tomatoes and its liquid into the pot and turn heat to medium-high.

Bring to a slight boil and skim foam that rises to the top.

Lower heat to medium low, or until a simmer.  Smash the tomatoes with a potato masher during the cooking.  Cook till reduced by ¼, about 25 -30 minutes or so. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt.

Remove from heat and submerge basil to infuse in the sauce as it cools down.

To serve:

Portion out cooked pasta and top with pomodoro sauce, 2 teaspoons butter, 2 tablespoons parmesan, basil leaves, olive oil and chili flakes.