30-Minute Dinner/ Dinner/ vegetarian dinner

Spaghetti Pomodoro (from ‘the Bear’)

30 September 2022 | Last Updated: 5 October 2022 By Aleksandra

The idea for this delicious spaghetti pomodoro comes from the show ‘the Bear’. It’s super quick to prepare and makes a delicious meal that your whole family will love. The sauce is really packed with flavor – I was really surprised with how good it is!

Spaghetti Pomodoro (from 'the Bear') on a white plate topped with parmesan.

Spaghetti from ‘The Bear’

If you’ve binged the new tv show ‘the Bear’, I’m sure you’re obsessed with all the dishes that the main character – Chef Carmy has made (if you have not watched it yet, I would really recommend it!). The ‘family meal spaghetti’ (essentially Italian spaghetti pomodoro) and chicken piccata especially caught my attention. This dish is shown in season 1 episode 8 at the 41:41 mark.

This tomato sauce came out so good that my kids requested it 3 days straight! I was super happy because it comes together really fast!

The recipe is not entirely shown in the show, so we have to guess the last part. We see Chef Carmy cooking basil leaves, whole cloves of garlic, and red pepper flakes in olive oil in a pot, then cooking a whole onion cut in half in butter to which he adds a can of tomatoes. I love the idea found on buzzfeed site to not only infuse the olive oil with aromatics but to blend the olive oil with garlic and basil and adding it to the sauce. It makes it really flavorful.

This sauce is similar to my marinara sauce but I think this recipe is even a little bit better! More butter and olive oil definitely contribute to the flavor. I will still prefer this vegetarian spaghetti sauce made with carrots, celery, red wine, and broth but it’s definitely more time-consuming and takes much longer to cook.

Ingredients

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Here’s what you need to make this recipe:

Lebeled ingredients for Spaghetti Pomodoro (from 'the Bear').
  • olive oil – is infused with fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil leaves (don’t substitute dried basil)
  • butter – is used to cook onion, browning the butter also contributes to the flavor of the sauce
  • canned tomatoes – I really like crushed tomatoes for this sauce (I love the Mutti brand) because they are already very fine and create a sauce quickly but you can also use whole canned tomatoes such as San Marzano tomatoes and mash them with a potato masher
  • brown sugar – some will say it has no place in tomato sauce but we prefer it on the sweeter side
  • spaghetti pasta – or other pasta of your choice but I think nothing beats spaghetti with tomato sauce
  • parmesan – to serve with the pasta – a must!

How to make it step by step

Olive oil with basil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a pot. Onion with butter in a pot.

STEP 1: Add olive oil, peeled and cut in half garlic cloves, basil leaves (and stems), and red pepper flakes to a large pot. Heat over low heat until basil is wilted but not crispy. Take out the basil and put in a medium bowl. Continue cooking until garlic is lightly golden. Transfer the oil with garlic to the bowl with basil. Leave to cool slightly.

STEP 2: Add butter to the pot. When it’s hot and bubbling, add peeled and cut in half onion. Cook until onion and butter are lightly browned.

Crushed tomatoes with onion in a pot. Olive oil blended with garlic and basil in a food processor container.

STEP 3: Add tomatoes and a small pinch of salt. Cover the pot with a lid and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes. If using whole tomatoes and not crushed tomatoes, mash them with a potato masher.

STEP 4: Meanwhile, add the olive oil with red pepper flakes, garlic, basil leaves (I’m discarding the stems), and a small piece of onion from the pot to a food processor and mix at low speed until smooth (don’t mix at high speed or the olive oil can become bitter). Add this to the pot with tomato sauce.

Cooked spaghetti in a sieve. Tomato sauce in a white pot.

STEP 5: While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta al dente – it should have a bite to it. Don’t overcook it! You should slightly undercook it and it will finish cooking while you’re tossing it with the tomato sauce. Reserve some pasta cooking water.

STEP 6: When the sauce is done cooking discard the remaining onion. Season your tomato sauce with salt, pepper, and sugar. Toss with the cooked pasta and a small amount of pasta cooking water.

Serve generously sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Storage

It’s best to keep the sauce separately from the pasta if you’re not planning to eat it right away or the pasta won’t be al dente anymore – it will be much softer. You can keep the sauce in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Spaghetti Pomodoro (from 'the Bear') in a frying pan.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Spaghetti Pomodoro (from ‘the Bear’)

The idea for this delicious spaghetti pomodoro comes from the show ‘the Bear’. It’s super quick to prepare and makes a delicious meal that your whole family will love. The sauce is really packed with flavor – I was really surprised with how good it is!
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Spaghetti Pomodoro (from 'the Bear') on a white plate topped with parmesan.
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5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 623kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes or to your taste
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • a handful basil leaves
  • 1 (28-oz or 800ml) can crushed tomatoes or whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 14 ounces (400g) uncooked spaghetti pasta
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon brown sugar optional
  • parmesan cheese to serve

Instructions

  • Add olive oil, peeled and cut in half garlic cloves, basil leaves (and stems), and red pepper flakes to a large pot. Heat over low heat until basil is wilted but not crispy. Take out the basil and put in a medium bowl. Continue cooking until garlic is lightly golden. Transfer the oil with garlic to the bowl with basil. Leave to cool slightly.
  • Add butter to the pot. When it’s hot and bubbling, add peeled and cut in half onion. Cook until onion and butter are lightly browned.
  • Add tomatoes and a small pinch of salt. Cover the pot with a lid and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes. If using whole tomatoes and not crushed tomatoes, mash them with a potato masher.
  • Meanwhile, add the olive oil with red pepper flakes, garlic, basil leaves (I’m discarding the stems), and a small piece of onion from the pot to a food processor and mix at low speed until smooth (don’t mix at high speed or the olive oil can become bitter). Add this to the pot with tomato sauce.
  • While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta al dente – it should have a bite to it. Don’t overcook it! You should slightly undercook it and it will finish cooking while you’re tossing it with the tomato sauce. Reserve some pasta cooking water.
  • When the sauce is done cooking discard the remaining onion. Season your tomato sauce with salt, pepper, and sugar. Toss with the cooked pasta and a small amount of pasta cooking water.
  • Serve generously sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can use a whole pound (16 ounces or 450g) of spaghetti for this amount of tomato sauce but I prefer to use a little bit less – we prefer our pasta more saucy.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Diet Vegetarian
Tried this Recipe? Rate the Recipe and tell us what you think in the Comments!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Kirsten
    10 October 2022 at 09:54

    5 stars
    Thank you for deciphering the missing bits!

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      10 October 2022 at 13:48

      happy to help!

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