Spaghetti Pomodoro

Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of pasta? A bowl of pasta coated in a fragrant tomato sauce topped with parmesan cheese, basil and extra virgin olive oil. I’m not sure there is, especially on a rainy day.

A trip down memory lane…

Spaghetti Pomodoro has been one of my favourite dishes ever since I was in University (which was many moons ago). In a very student like manner, I remember I would make a very basic spaghetti every week with a large jar of Dolmio sauce and covered it in a mountain of cheddar cheese. It was sloppy, tangy and I loved it at the time. Especially because I could eat a ginormous plate of it and not put on any weight. The good old days.

Then everything changed when I went to Rome for my 21st birthday with my family and ordered spaghetti pomodoro in a small restaurant near the colosseum. My eyes were open to what this dish should be like. It was silky, flavourful and lightly dusted with parmesan cheese and basil. Heaven!

Ever since then I’ve been trying to improve my technique with this dish. It’s such a simple pasta recipe but one that I love so much and make time and time again. In fact, when I was pregnant I ate it so regularly as I couldn’t stomach anything too spicy or rich. Which may be the reason why my daughter loves it so much and looks like a mini dinosaur while she eats it.

Fresh or dried herbs?

We’ve recently started growing some herbs in our garden (when I say we, I mean my husband and mother in law. I just cook with them) and I am loving it. I’ve never managed to keep herbs alive for very long in my house but they are growing so well now. Let’s hope we can maintain it. I truly think using fresh basil makes a huge difference.

Is there a recipe?

Yes! However this is my version and I normally eye ball this recipe in terms of quantities but I have tried my best to put measurements in for you. Just try to judge how many people you are cooking for and add accordingly. You want just enough sauce to coat the spaghetti, not drown it.

Serves 2


  • 160g Spaghetti
  • 200g passata
  • 125g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • small handful of basil
  • parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a frying pan on a medium heat, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and add the garlic cloves. Let the garlic sizzle for a minute or two and then add the cherry tomatoes.
  2. Cook the cherry tomatoes down for 2-3 minutes and then add the passata.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste, the oregano and a pinch of sugar.
  4. Add a few basil leaves finely chopped, leaving a few remaining basil leaves to garnish at the end.
  5. Turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add small splashes of water if the sauce dries too quickly.
  6. Meanwhile, boil the spaghetti according to the packet instructions.
  7. Once the spaghetti is cooked, transfer straight to the tomato sauce. Add a little splash of pasta water to loosen the sauce.
  8. Turn the hob off and serve the spaghetti on a plate or pasta bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Enjoy!

I hope you give this a try, I’m sure you will love it as much as I do. I actually found an old picture from 2015 when I was learning about food photography (see below). What a difference! I feel like I have come a long way, both with the recipe and my photography. Still lots more to learn though!

Thank you so much for reading. Leave me a comment below if you would like to try this recipe. Have a great evening everyone 🙂

My name is Bhavisha Surti and I am a food photographer and stylist based in Milton Keynes. Please subscribe to my blog below and check out my website to see more of my work at you! 

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