A good tomato sauce is one of the first things that any cook should learn to make. It’s infinitely useful and keeps pretty well – did we mention the canned, ready-made versions are high in sodium and stunningly overpriced? Turn any pasta sauce into a meal by combining it with Homemade Meatballs, use it to coat cannelloni, or top our fresh-baked Zucchini-Bell Pepper Pizzas with it. Of course, you could always serve it as a simple pasta al pomodoro. No extra ingredients needed – skip the Parmesan, ground beef, spinach, or ricotta; a simple, well-made tomato pasta is a beautiful thing. This Easy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta sauce takes our Classic Italian Tomato Sauce to the next level with tangy sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, rounded out with white wine and high-quality olive oil.
Try this Easy Sun-dried Tomato Pasta at Home
A bowl of pasta is the ultimate comfort food. For me, it conjures up images of warming, wholesome dishes like macaroni and cheese and beef stroganoff. Pasta is often one of the first foods to fall to the wayside for dieters. But, if made properly and eaten in the right portions, pasta is a decent source of nutrition, especially when you choose whole-wheat noodles.
Eating should be about joy as well as feeling good. If you suffer the “pasta itch” like me, but you want to make it as healthy as possible, our easy sun-dried tomato pasta is a fantastic choice. This Mediterranean diet-inspired recipe is low in both saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also a good source of vitamin A, which helps to improve night vision and is an immune booster.
We’ve chosen whole-wheat spaghetti to up the fiber content, too. It’s heavy on the garlic and topped with fresh, ripped up basil. One bite, and you’ll forget about the heavy, cream-based sauces that dominate Italian restaurants in the US.
Why We Love Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Fruity. Tangy. Squishy. Eat ’em straight, roast them, or blend them into a sauce. Sun-dried tomatoes are kind of addictive. I find myself returning to the fridge periodically to gaze at the jar, and gingerly picking it up and eating one or two straight from the jar. I usually buy the jarred kind because they’re packed in a tomato-infused olive oil, which is a fantastic base for sweating onions or frying off spices. For this recipe, you can also buy them in cans.
Love them as much I do? Learn to make your own at home here.
Sun-dried tomatoes contain all of the antioxidants of fresh tomatoes, but with a delightfully tart flavor. They also have the unique texture of a tomato that’s been warmed by the sun. We also add a yellow onion to the mix, which helps balance the natural acidity of these tomatoes. According to experts, the onions are really the cornerstone of the classic sugo di pomodoro, so don’t skip ’em.
Is Your Sauce Too Thick?
Don’t forget to save some of the pasta cooking water! This old Italian trick has been tried and tested many times, and it never fails. If your sauce is looking a little thick, extract a few spoons of the pasta water from the boiling pot and add it to your sauce. The extra starch from the pasta water not only binds the noodles and sauce together well, but it also adds flavor from the pasta and salt used in the boiling process.
Although cooking this easy sun-dried tomato pasta sauce in a covered pan will prevent it from reducing too much, we don’t recommend this. The steaming effect from covering the pan often results in a bland, weakly formulated flavor. Equally important is using high-quality olive oil. Investing in extra-virgin olive oil will directly translate to a better end result; I promise! You can also drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over your plated pasta just before serving.
Although this pasta sauce is just perfect for well, pasta, feel free to use it to creatively re-use it in casseroles and vegetable dishes. Got any clever ideas? Let us know in the comments!
Easy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup sundried tomatoes chopped
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or vegetable broth
- 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti cooked
- 1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook just until the onion begins to turn translucent. Stir in the sundried tomato and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the spaghetti and toss to coat the pasta in the tomatoes. Remove from heat and top with chopped basil.