Capellini Pomodoro a la Olive Garden

Even though I was semi-fasting today, I knew I wanted to try to eat something for dinner. I hear meats are hard for the body to process, so I opted for something vegetarian. After seeing this post at Another One Bites the Crust, my vote was for capellini pomodoro, and since I was the only one voting, I picked up ingredients (hubby picked up basil for me) to cook it.


Having worked in an Italian restaurant, I used to see this dish quite a bit. CP isn’t exactly the type of thing I would normally order in a restaurant. Whenever I eat out, I have a hard time selecting entrees from all the glorious food options, so I limit myself by trying to eat 1. things I don’t think I could (or would ever want to) cook and 2. things that are specialties of the particular restaurant. CP has always seemed so easy, I’ve always shrugged off eating.


Aren’t tomatoes cool-looking on the inside?


Anywho, even though I’ve always thought CP looked easy to cook, tonight was my first attempt at actually making it. Guess what? It really is easy and pretty affordable, too. It also uses a limited amount of ingredients, which can be nice after you’ve tried a Martha or Ina recipe.


Since the recipe has such few ingredients, def don’t skip on the parm or basil. The dish will taste so much better with them. The basil adds a nice, fresh touch and the parm adds a salty bite that really finishes the flavors.

Capellini Pomodoro
Adapted from this supposed OG recipe on

My Notes: This recipe is actually different from the recipe posted on here. I think I’d prefer the tomatoes cooked a bit like in this version, personally, but I haven’t tried both to compare.


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes (about 8), seeded and diced
  • 3/4 ounce fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 12 ounces dry capellini pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Bring a large pot of cool water to a boil and salt water. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and add garlic in a large saute pan over medium. Cook until garlic turns white, about 60 seconds. Add pasta to the boiling water and stir to prevent pasta from sticking. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Heat through, stirring constantly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Tomatoes should not lose their shape. Remove from heat. Using slotted/toothed spoon, transfer cooked pasta to pan with tomatoes (try to get as little pasta water in pan as possible). Transfer hot, cooked pasta to large bowl. Toss pasta gently with tomato mixture, basil (except save some for garnish) and Parmesan cheese.

Garnish with a little extra chopped basil and parmesan cheese and serve.

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