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Perfect Pasta Pomodoro

Scott Conant's pasta pomodoro recipe
Nathan Congleton / TODAY

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. 


  • 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


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.