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Rigatoni Pomodoro

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This Rigatoni Pomodoro recipe features a bold, savory tomato and prosciutto sauce. While Filetto di Pomodoro is a classic Italian tomato sauce, it’s versatile and easy to make. Not only is it ready in just 30 minutes. But, you can make it with any pasta – penne, ziti, and fettuccine. Or, use low carb zucchini or gluten-free noodles!

a bowl of noodles mixed with a rich Italian tomato sauce

What is Pomodoro Sauce?

Pomodoro is a dish from Italy that has a sauce with fresh tomatoes, basil, and spices. In fact, the word Pomodoro is Italian for “tomato.” This means that there are going to be lots of sweet and tangy flavors in every bite.

But why stop there? By using ham pancetta and onions, this is technically a Filetto di Pomodoro sauce (in Italian).

This sauce is made with prosciutto and onion. It is more umami-full and goes perfectly over any kind of pasta.

Buon Appetito!

Here are The Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Prosciutto ham
  • Diced tomatoes – we like San Marzano tomatoes, but you can use any canned diced tomatoes
  • Italian seasoning
  • Pasta – (see variations)
  • Garnishes – freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil
pasta, tomatoes, prosciutto ham, garlic, onion, olive oil, salt, spices

Easy Recipe Variations

Don’t have rigatoni? No problem! You can use another type of pasta in this recipe for a fun change.

Penne al Pomodoro

You can make penne alla Pomodoro by using a classic pasta shape. This tube style noodle is a cousin to rigatoni and ziti.

Ziti Pomodoro

Typically used in pasta al Forno (baked pasta), Ziti pasta is so similar to rigatoni and penne that many confuse the noodles. Tube style noodles have a lot of surface area to absorb tomato based sauces.

Fettuccine Pomodoro

The wide and flat surface of fettuccine pasta is perfect for this Filetto di Pomodoro sauce. You’ll love how this rich sauce clings to fettuccine Pomodoro.

Bucatini Pomodoro

Bucatini pasta is a type of pasta that is like a thick spaghetti noodle. It has a small tube running through it so that it can absorb more sauce and make a richer Italian dish.

a green bowl of Rigatoni Pomodoro with seasonings and a napkin in the background

Tortellini Pomodoro

For a cheesy Italian dish, mix tortellini and Pomodoro! Tortellini Pomodoro will be a hearty dinner.

Zucchini Pomodoro

You can make this recipe healthier by using cooked chopped or spiralized zucchini instead of pasta. This will make the dish low carb and keto friendly.

Gluten-Free Pasta Pomodoro

Use your preferred gluten free noodles to make this a gluten free pasta pomodoro recipe. This will give you a delicious GF-friendly meal.

Vegetarian and Vegan Pomodoro

Leave out the ham and use an extra tablespoon of oil. Plus, an extra pinch of salt.

How to Make Rigatoni Pomodoro

Here are the easy steps to make my 30-minute Rigatoni Pomodoro:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook the onions until they start to soften and turn yellow (3 minutes). Stir in garlic and prosciutto and cook for another 2 minutes. 

a Staub cast iron skillet with  Filetto di Pomodoro sautéing

Add San Marzano tomatoes with juices and Italian seasoning to the onions, garlic, and prosciutto.

Cover and simmer the sauce on low heat while the pasta cooks (15-20 minutes).

a cast iron skillet with penne al pomodoro sauce ready to simmer

Bring a large pot to a boil with 3 quarts of salted water for the pasta.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the noodles, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Add ½ cup of pasta water to the sauce. Keep stirring the Pomodoro sauce until it thickens. If the sauce is too thin, add more water until it is rich and has a glossy appearance with small chunks of tomatoes.

a cast iron skillet with filetto di pomodoro sauce

Taste the sauce, and add more salt if needed.

To serve, add pasta to the bowl. Top with Filetto di Pomodoro sauce. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and ground pepper before serving.

a green pasta bowl with penne al pomodoro - pasta with an Italian tomato sauce

Love Pasta? Here are more Pasta recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference between Pomodoro and Marinara sauce?

Both sauces are tomato based and are made with similar ingredients – like garlic and Italian spices. However, marinara is a tighter meatless sauce. Pomodoro has a more robust sauce, that more heavily coats pasta. Also, this sauce has pancetta.

What do You serve with Penne Pomodoro?

This dish is great to pair with your favorite Italian-inspired sides. I love to serve it with a fresh garden salad or Caesar salad. And, a loaf of freshly baked garlic sourdough bread makes the perfect meal!

How long do leftovers last?

Pomodoro sauce and pasta will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. Let it cool completely, then put it in a sealed container and place it in the fridge.

a green pasta bowl of rigatoni and Pomodoro sauce (filetto di Pomodoro)

the best Rigatoni filetto di pomodoro recipe

a green serving bowl with rigatoni pasta with a rich Italian tomato sauce
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5 from 1 vote

Rigatoni Pomodoro

This classic Rigatoni Pomodoro recipe features a savory, bold tomato and prosciutto (Filetto di Pomodoro) sauce that's perfect for enjoying over your favorite noodles!
Course Side Dish, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Main Course, Dinner, Side Dish, One Pot Meal, Weeknight Dinner, Easy Dinner, gluten-free, 30 minute meals, one pan meal, pasta dinner, Pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 462kcal

Equipment

  • large stockpot for cooking pasta
  • 11"- 12" skillet or a large sauce pan

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, halved then thinly sliced (1/4"-1/8")
  • 2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 pound sliced prosciutto ham, diced
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) San Marziano tomatoes, diced (use any type of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 12 ounces pasta (penne, rigatoni, ziti, fettuccine, or tortellini)

optional

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
  • 4 springs fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until onions are beginning to soften and yellow (3 minutes). Stir in garlic and prosciutto and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add San Marziano tomatoes with juices and Italian seasoning to the onions, garlic, and prosciutto. Cover and simmer the sauce on low heat while the pasta cooks (15-20 minutes).
  • Heat a large pot with 3 quarts of water plus 1 teaspoon of salt for the pasta). Once boiling, add the penne, rigatoni, ziti, tortellini, or fettuccine and cook until al dente (following the instructions on your pasta box). Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Keep the burner on low heat and stir in ½ cup of pasta water. Continue stirring until the Pomodoro sauce thickens. Add more pasta water if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time until the sauce is rich and glossy with small chunks of tomatoes. Taste the sauce and add more salt if needed.
  • To serve: add pasta to the bowl. Top with the Filetto di Pomodoro sauce. Garnish with parmesan cheese, freshly cut basil, and ground pepper before serving.

Notes

Nutritional facts include Parmesan cheese

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 1051mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 116IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1mg

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