Pasta Pomodoro & Peonies!

These are a few of my favorite things…Pasta (you already knew that) and Peonies! 

Ryan and I have been so blessed with wonderful neighbors since our move to Iowa City 7 yrs ago.  (First of all, SEVEN years ago?!  I can hardly believe we’ve  been here that long.)  In our first home, on the East side of Iowa City, we enjoyed Sara & her furry friend Pez on one side of us and Jennifer and her 2 daughters Bridget & Muriel on the other.  I remember sobbing the day we moved..(just to the other side of town mind you)…I hate goodbyes.  And now, on the West side of Iowa City, we have more amazing neighbors.  Stan, to the South of us, has become one of my favorite people!  He calls me, “Miss Robin” and is always around to chat with me in the yard, give me advice on the endless schrubbery & plants I inherited, and keep an eye on me when Ryan is gone!   I love his company.  This past weekend, he surprised me with a big vase of peonies (fresh from his yard!). 

Aren’t they beautiful?!   What a thoughtful & amazing gift.  If you read this Stan, Thank You!

For dinner that same night, I had planned to make another one of my favorite pastas…Pasta Pomodoro.  In Italy, I ordered this pasta every chance I had.  It’s simple…Pasta and Pomodoro (tomatoes).  It is similar to what we know of as “Spaghetti/Marinara” in the States…but much more fresh (in my opinion).  Try it once…you’ll see the difference!  Pasta Pomodoro is a great tomato-based pasta for summer nights…


Serves 4 -6

  • 2 cans (28 oz) whole, peeled, tomoatoes.  Drain & Crush by hand.
  • 2 cans petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1 Sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil leaves, torn
  • 1 cup Mozzarella, freshly grated
  • Spaghetti noodles, cooked & strained

 Start by making the pomodoro sauce.  This will allow for the flavors to meld while you prep the rest of the meal.

In a large saucepan, heat EVOO over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, ~5 minutes.  Add the diced and crushed tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for ~15 minutes.  Bring to a boil, stirring for 2-3 minutes to break up tomatoes.  Reduce heat and simmer for ~20 minutes. 

Stir in the fresh basil.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.

While the sauce is simmering, bring water to a boil. 

Cook pasta until al dente.  ~ 9-10 minutes or as indicated on the box.

How do you know when the pasta is al dente?

When it is slightly firm and still sticky enough to stick to the wall! 

Strain pasta.  Immediately top with sauce to help retain heat.   

Garnish with  freshly grated mozzarella…

And dig in! 

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

9 thoughts on “Pasta Pomodoro & Peonies!

  1. Robin… I think you missed your calling…. Cooking show in store for you? Yes please!! 🙂 Miss you friend, hope you are doing well!

  2. Robin, seriously…your website and recipes always look so good! I am going to make one of your pasta dashes this week. Nice and light…yum!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that I am still LOVING your blog!! The recipes are great and the pictures are works of art unto themselves. You should print out some of your best ones, frame them and hang them in your kitchen!! Keep it up sister… I am a fan!!

  4. I mean seriously, I go to your site and my mouth just starts to water…your pictures and descriptions…and every recipe seems to have a background or personal story to it and I just love it. One of your pasta dishes will be had at the Bonine’s on Wednesday. I also shared your link with my sister. 🙂

  5. Thank you all for your comments & feedback! I really appreciate it. Continue to share this site with your friends. 🙂

    And Katie, here is my two-cents on Wednesday nights dinner at your house… If you want to try a pasta that has a little buttery goodness…do the Boscioala. If you love tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil, do the Pomadoro. You could also do the Chicken Marsala over noodles instead of potatoes if you guys like Marsala. Whichever you choose, enjoy!

  6. Subject: Thank you
    Hey Robin,

    So after three year of either being pregos or being attached to a pump, I put my cooking/baking to the side. After reading your blog I am very excited to step back into my kitchen again. It is something I truly love and enjoy and hoping to pass along to my kids. Thanks for sharing your recipes and keep them coming. I love all the fresh produce you use.

    Thanks again for getting me back into my kitchen 🙂


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