Tomato Paste Pasta Sauce is a quick and easy dish that comes together in less than 15 minutes. Perfect for nights when you don’t know what to make for dinner. I’ve been making this simple pasta for more than a decade. It is made with literally three ingredients ~ extra virgin olive oil, tomato paste and garlic. Toss with pasta and if you have fresh basil on hand, add some.
I’ve been making this pasta for my family for more than 10 years now. It’s also one of the most popular recipes on my blog when people are searching for recipes using just tomato pasta and pasta. With just three ingredients, this was often our first meal on vacation when my boys were young. We used to stay in a condo or house for family vacations to save money on meals. I’d pack the ingredients for tomato paste pasta in my suitcase so I could make this for lunch the following day without having to go to the supermarket.
This is also one of the first recipes I’ve taught my three oldest boys when he went off the meal plan in college. They have all missed my cooking after they left home, so this recipe is one of the easiest ways for them to get a taste of home. I still remember when I asked my oldest son what he would miss most about home once he was in college. He said, “your cooking.” Awe…that’s what makes preparing home cooked meals for my boys all these years worth it.
How To Make Tomato Paste Pasta Sauce
These are the original photos of Tomato Paste Pasta when I first posted this recipe six years ago.
Tomato Paste Pasta can be made in 15 minutes. First put a big pot of warm/hot water on the stove to cook the pasta. While you’re waiting for the water to come to a boil, heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat and add the tomato paste and cook until it starts to caramelize. This adds extra flavor to the sauce – just be sure not to burn it. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve at least 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid, and drain the pasta. Stir the pasta cooking liquid into the tomato paste garlic mixture until a sauce forms.
My kids like this tomato sauce on the thicker side, and enjoy this on spaghetti, farfalle, or penne shaped pasta. Add more pasta cooking liquid if you like a thinner sauce, and serve with your favorite shape pasta.
Watch how easy this Tomato Paste Pasta recipe is to make:
Easy Tomato Paste Pasta Sauce
This is the easiest pasta sauce, using just three ingredients. My kids love it!
- 16 ounces dry pasta gluten-free or whole grain
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- fresh basil leaves cut into chiffonade (very thin strips)
Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Drain pasta.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil and tomato paste over medium heat for one minute. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook 4-5 minutes to caramelize tomato paste and deepen the flavors. Do not burn. Add garlic and cook another minute until lightly browned. Add ¼ cup of pasta cooking liquid to tomato paste sauce and stir well. Add a little more pasta cooking liquid if a thinner sauce is desired.
Toss pasta with tomato sauce. Garnish with basil chiffonade. Serve immediately.
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