Dinner/ Pasta/ Recipes

Napoli Sauce with Pasta

27/03/2020
 

This super easy Napoli sauce is ready in 10 minutes. You only need 5 ingredients for this quick Italian dinner. Toss together the sauce and pasta and you’re ready to go. Buon appetito!

Napoli sauce topped spaghetti in white bowl.

Why We Love This Recipe

We’ve always got the simple ingredients in our pantry for this dish, so it’s a perfect weeknight meal or lunch when we both don’t feel like cooking a time-consuming meal.

Being able to use Napoli sauce in a variety of ways, cuts down the cooking time on future dishes when I do a big batch. Whether it’s for pasta, pizza or on schnitzel!

 

White bowl of pasta with napoli sauce on top and in the background.

What is Napoli sauce? 

Cast your mind back across the generations, to an Italian city called Naples, where a ‘simple’ tomato sauce known as passata wasn’t just a tradition – it was a way of life. (And still very much is.)

If you’ve ever made your own homemade pasta sauce, you’ll know what we mean. 

There lie the tomatoes, quietly ripening on white linens spread out under the Italian sun. They’re about to be chopped and skinned and scooped into pots of boiling water… smushed down into a soft puree… strained of seeds til they’re impeccably smooth, then sealed in cans to be stashed away for another day.

With care and moderation, these beloved batches of passata could be made to last throughout the winter; every opened bottle releasing the taste and scent of summer. Mixed through freshly cooked pasta, sprinkled with parmesan, a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper, and shared across the family table through the bitterest of winters.

Fast forward and today, with thanks to modern convenience, you can cook your very own batch of passata-infused Napoli Sauce in just 10 minutes.

Literally, the hardest part now is simply waiting for the pasta to cook!

Isn’t it incredible to think with the teensiest effort you can prepare an easy Italian pasta recipe straight out of Italy with handcrafted Garofalo pasta straight from Naples, and quite possibly, a batch of Italian tomato passata – grown under the Italian sun, cooked down and canned and transported across the world to your very own supermarket shelf.

 

Close up of bowl with spaghetti and tomato based napoli sauce.

What You’ll Need For This Recipe

Super simple pantry staples are needed for this quick pasta sauce – just 5 ingredients in total!

Ingredients to make napoli sauce and pasta.

How to make Napoli Sauce with Pasta:

Let’s get started by cooking your spaghetti according to packet directions til it’s perfectly al dente. Once it’s ready, drain it straight away. 

Pot of boiling water with spaghetti.

Meanwhile, pop your tomato passata, oil and garlic into a small saucepan and bring it to the boil, then remove from the heat.

Pot of napoli tomato sauce on stove.

Pop your cooked pasta into a large mixing bowl and drizzle generously with your hot Napoli sauce. Transfer your saucy pasta to serving plates and garnish well with grated parmesan cheese.

Feel free to sprinkle with an extra pinch of salt and pepper, or fresh parsley or basil leaves too!

Bowl of pasta topped with napoli sauce and hand placing a parsley leaf.

Cook’s Tips

  • Make sure the passata is at room temperature before cooking for the best tasting results.
  • We use and recommend fresh pecorino romano for the parmesan cheese, as it has a fantastic sharp bite that goes so well with the tomatoes.
  • Stirring the sauce while you bring it up to boiling can help reduce the bubbles coming up to splatter all over your stovetop. If it’s splattering too much, reduce the heat to a medium temperature.

FAQs

What else can I use Napoli sauce for?

This is quite the versatile sauce, we recommend using it on pasta, pizza or even as a parmigiana schnitzel topping!

Is Napoli sauce vegan or vegetarian?

If you hold or replace the parmesan cheese, it is vegan and vegetarian as the only ingredients are tomatoes (passata), olive oil and garlic for the Napoli sauce.

Can you freeze?

Yes, and we thoroughly recommend you do. Make a big batch and freeze it in portions so you can pull out what you need, when you need it without having to cook it all over again. 

Variations & Substitutes

  • Swap out the spaghetti. You can use any pasta you want – from stuffed ravioli for extra flavour through to ditching the pasta completely and having it with zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead!
  • Use the sauce as a base for other pasta dishes. If you have created a batch of Napoli sauce, you can use it in place of passata whenever a recipe calls for it. Such as a dish like Pasta all Amatriciana or Ragu.
  • If you’re freezing the pasta with the Napoli sauce, you can either stir the pasta through the sauce for a thicker result, or store the pasta and sauce separately to avoid the pasta swelling from the sauce’s liquid.

 

Cooking up more Italian? These go hand in hand together:

 

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Close up bowl of napoli sauce with pasta.

Napoli Sauce with Pasta

This super easy Napoli sauce is ready in 10 minutes. You only need 5 ingredients for this quick Italian dinner. Toss together the sauce and pasta and you're ready to go. Buon appetito!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 257kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 200 g spaghetti
  • 400 g tomato passata
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • parmesan cheese grated, pecorino romano

Optional:

  • 1 stalk parsley or basil to top
  • pinch black pepper freshly ground
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • Let's get started by cooking your spaghetti according to packet directions til it's perfectly al dente. Once it's ready, drain it straight away. 
  • Meanwhile, pop your tomato passata, oil and garlic into a small saucepan and bring it to the boil, then remove from the heat.
  • Pop your cooked pasta into a large mixing bowl and drizzle generously with your hot napoli sauce. Transfer your saucy pasta to serving plates and garnish well with grated parmesan cheese.
  • Feel free to sprinkle with an extra pinch of salt and pepper, or fresh parsley or basil leaves too!

Video

Notes

Cook's Tips
  • Make sure the passata is at room temperature before cooking for the best tasting results.
  • We use and recommend fresh pecorino romano for the parmesan cheese, as it has a fantastic sharp bite that goes so well with the tomatoes.
  • Stirring the sauce while you bring it up to boiling can help reduce the bubbles coming up to splatter all over your stovetop. If it's splattering too much, reduce the heat to a medium temperature.
FAQs
  • What else can I use Napoli sauce for? This is quite the versatile sauce, we recommend using it on pasta, pizza or even as a parmigiana schnitzel topping!
  • Is Napoli sauce vegan or vegetarian? If you hold or replace the parmesan cheese, it is vegan and vegetarian as the only ingredients are tomatoes (passata), olive oil and garlic for the Napoli sauce.
  • Can you freeze? Yes, and we thoroughly recommend you do. Make a big batch and freeze it in portions so you can pull out what you need, when you need it without having to cook it all over again. 
Variations & Substitutes
  • Swap out the spaghetti. You can use any pasta you want - from stuffed ravioli for extra flavour through to ditching the pasta completely and having it with zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead!
  • Use the sauce as a base for other pasta dishes. If you have created a batch of Napoli sauce, you can use it in place of passata whenever a recipe calls for it. Such as a dish like Pasta all Amatriciana or Ragu.
  • If you're freezing the pasta with the Napoli sauce, you can either stir the pasta through the sauce for a thicker result, or store the pasta and sauce separately to avoid the pasta swelling from the sauce's liquid.

Nutrition

Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 531IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

 

Napoli Sauce with Pasta

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Anna
    28/03/2020 at 12:34 am

    5 stars
    Love the simplicity of this dish! Can never go with a timeless classic like this! Can’t wait to make it this weekend!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/03/2020 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks Anna!

  • Reply
    Jessica Formicola
    27/03/2020 at 10:45 pm

    5 stars
    10 minutes and 5 ingredients sound perfect to me! I can’t wait to make this delicious sauce!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/03/2020 at 2:21 pm

      Agreed! Hope you enjoy Jessica!

  • Reply
    Bry
    27/03/2020 at 10:15 pm

    5 stars
    I never knew Napoli sauce was this easy to prepare! I’ll be making this for dinner tonight, thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/03/2020 at 2:21 pm

      It’s a nice go-to basic sauce recipe. We love whipping this up to start, then adding all sorts to it. 🙂

  • Reply
    David
    27/03/2020 at 10:00 pm

    5 stars
    love an easy and simple pasta dish like this! They sure have the best tomatoes from around Naples. I recall our first meal in Naples was a simple margherita pizza, highlighting those tomatoes.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/03/2020 at 2:20 pm

      Oh wow, that would’ve been so good to try. The first day we were in Naples was a national holiday and all the pizza shops were shut – so we had to wait a whole day to try the famous pizza haha

  • Reply
    Dannii
    27/03/2020 at 8:37 pm

    5 stars
    I just love a simple pasta and sauce recipe.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/03/2020 at 2:20 pm

      Same here!!

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