Rigatoni Basil Pomodoro

Rigatoni Basil Pomodoro

You’ve arrived at Nonna’s kitchen, 8 hours into her Sunday sauce.

Makes: 4 to 6 Servings


  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, grated, or sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound fresh or dried rigatoni
  • 2 loosely packed cups basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Heat the oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium. Once the garlic starts dancing, stir in the Calabrian chili paste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and let fry in the oil, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.
  • Simmer the sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. Taste and season as desired.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then salt it like the sea. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  • Return the pasta to the large pot, then stir in the tomato sauce, reserved pasta water, and basil until the pasta is evenly coated.
  • Add butter and Parmesan, tossing until melted. Season to taste, adding additional Calabrian chili, if desired. Serve garnished with additional basil and Parmesan.


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