Pasta Al Pomodoro (Tia's Take on Basta Pasta's Recipe)

Total Time
4hrs 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 4 hrs

Basta Pasta was a great italian place in San Francisco . Sadly they went out of business a few years ago. Lucky for me when I was visiting the last time I asked the chef for the recipe, it came back on a greasy slip of paper with the basic ingredients and no amounts! I've only recently in the past few years enjoyed cooking so decided to give it a whirl! It tastes almost identical to theirs with much tweaking. The biggest thing with this is to use the BEST ingredients you can, i.e. tomatoes, wine, fresh basil. Its really easy to make so don't let the list of ingredients scare you away. For the pasta I have used fetticini, vermiccili, capelini etc...all taste great...cause of the sauce ;-) Cooking time is including the simmering of sauce.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and saute being careful not to let the garlic brown.
  2. Add tomatoes, wine, chicken broth, basil, sugar, pesto, vodka if using. Bring to a slight boil then turn down heat to medium-low and simmer.
  3. The longer you simmer this sauce the better it is! Reduce sauce by 1/4 simmering several hours, then turn to low.
  4. Add the chilled butter (butter will thicken sauce slightly) and stir through.
  5. Cook your choice of pasta al dente. While cooking pasta add the whipping cream and parmesean cheese and heat through.
  6. Add drained cooked pasta to pan and mix throughly and heat through.
  7. Serve with parmesean cheese grated on top. A loaf of rustic bread and salad goes great!
  8. Note: (I freeze my pesto in ice cube trays and use 1 to 2 cubes).
Most Helpful

A lovely rich tomato sauce, a wonderful weekend project when you can let it cook away to itself and be richly rewarded by a sumptuous sauce with deep rich flavour, reminds you of how cooking should be. Thank you LazyChef, this was lovely and well worth making!!!! made for I Recommend tag game

Karen Elizabeth October 01, 2012

FANTASTIC! This is definitely restaurant quality pasta sauce. I followed the directions exactly (not adding the vodka, since we didn't have any) and I wouldn't change a single thing. As the chef recommends, using fresh, quality ingredients and simmering for a long time are keys to this recipe. I let mine simmer for abour 4 hours. Even though it takes some time to make, it is easy and most of that time is hands-free/kick back with a glass of wine time. I love the layers of flavors in this sauce. The butter makes it silky and the cream...oh the cream...mmmmm. The recipe did not include pasta amount. I used a one pound box of barilla plus thin spaghetti. This is a really wonderful recipe and I don't even miss the meat! Thank you. ~Made for Pick A Chef Spring 2009~

LifeIsGood March 22, 2009