If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy here.
This Rigatoni Pomodoro recipe features a bold, savory tomato and prosciutto sauce. Although 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!
What is Pomodoro Sauce?
Pomodoro is an Italian dish that traditionally has a sauce of fresh tomatoes, basil, and spices. In fact, the word Pomodoro is Italian for “tomato.” So, you know 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).
It’s a more umami-full version made with prosciutto and onion for a rustic, hearty sauce that goes perfectly over penne, rigatoni, ziti, or fettuccine.
Here are The Ingredients
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Prosciutto ham
- Diced tomatoes – we like San Marziano tomatoes, but you can use any canned diced tomatoes
- Italian seasoning
- Pasta – Pomodoro goes well with penne, rigatoni, or ziti, fettuccine, or tortellini
- Garnishes – freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil
Easy Recipe Variations
No rigatoni on hand? Use another pasta in this recipe for a fun twist.
Penne al Pomodoro
Make penne al Pomodoro by using this classic pasta. This tube-style noodle is a cousin to rigatoni and ziti.
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.
The wide flat surface of fettuccine makes it another ideal pasta for this Filetto di Pomodoro sauce. You’ll love how this rich sauce clings to fettuccine Pomodoro.
Bucatini pasta is the perfect combination of spaghetti and type pasta. It is a thick spaghetti noodle with a small tube running through it. This allows it to absorb more sauce than spaghetti noodles for a rich Italian dish.
For a cheesy Italian dish, mix tortellini and Pomodoro! Tortellini Pomodoro will be a hearty dinner.
Turn this recipe into a healthier option that is low carb and keto. Simply swap the pasta with cooked chopped or spiralized zucchini to make “zoodles.”
Gluten-Free Pasta Pomodoro
Make this recipe gluten-free! Use your preferred gluten-free noodles for a delicious GF-friendly meal.
Vegetarian and Vegan Pomodoro
Omit 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 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 and salt for the pasta.
Once boiling, add the penne, rigatoni, ziti, tortellini, or fettuccine and cook until al dente. Drain the noodles, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
Add ½ cup of pasta water to the sauce. 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.
Love Pasta? Here are more Pasta recipes
- Carbone Spicy Rigatoni
- Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage
- Pasta with Meat Sauce
- Instant Pot Chili Mac with Cheese
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Classic Lasagna
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 satisfying dish is great to pair with your favorite Italian-inspired sides. I love to serve it alongside 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 well for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Let it cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge.
the best Rigatoni filetto di pomodoro recipe
- large stockpot for cooking pasta
- 11"- 12" skillet or a large sauce pan
- 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)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
- 4 springs fresh basil, chopped
- 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.