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Penne Pasta with Homemade Tomato Sauce

If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner idea that’s both comforting and delicious, look no further than penne pasta with homemade tomato sauce.

PASTA DINNER IN UNDER 30 MINUTES

Penne pasta with homemade tomato sauce is one of those classic dishes that never gets old. The combination of tender penne noodles and rich, flavorful tomato sauce is so satisfying and comforting! Plus, with just a handful of simple ingredients, this dish is easy to prepare and can be on the table in under 30 minutes. Whether you’re cooking for a hungry family or just looking for a quick and delicious weeknight dinner, penne pasta with homemade tomato sauce is sure to please. Perfect for Meatless Mondays!

A wooden spoon holding a bit of penne pasta with sauce.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: 

Can I use other pasta?

Certainly! I think this dish would be good with other pasta types like rigatoni, bowtie, shells, etc. I like to use a pasta that has ridges since it really helps hold on to the sauce.

What meat can I add?

It’s quite easy to add any of your favorite protein to this recipe. Try adding:
– cooked chicken
– cooked turkey
– cooked sausage
– cooked ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, etc.

What veggies can I add?

Fancy this dish up with your favorite vegetables. Adding in some bell pepper, mushroom, diced onion, or zucchini to the mix would be lovely. If you find that you need some more cooking liquid when adding in veggies, try some vegetable stock or some extra diced tomatoes.

What other herbs and spices can I try?

Enhance the flavor profile by adding some oregano, thyme, or parsley to the sauce. If you like heat, try adding a dash or two of crushed red pepper flakes. That is what I love about homemade sauce, you can really customize it to your tastes!

What can I serve with this dish?

Penne pasta with tomato sauce is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of sides. A simple green salad, garlic bread, or roasted vegetables are all great options. You could also serve it with a protein like grilled chicken or shrimp for a more substantial meal.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftover sauce and pasta can be placed in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

How to reheat leftovers?

Reheat your leftovers in a microwave-safe dish on high power in the microwave, or transfer them to a pot or saucepan and heat it over medium heat on the stove, stirring occasionally.

Close up of a bowl of penne pasta with tomato sauce.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • penne pasta
  • salted butter
  • minced garlic
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Italian style petite diced tomatoes
  • cornstarch
  • cold water
  • fresh basil
  • fresh shredded parmesan cheese, optional garnish
Butter, penne pasta, minced garlic, cherry tomatoes, Italian style petite diced tomatoes, cornstarch, cold water, basil, and parmesan cheese.

HOW TO MAKE PENNE PASTA WITH HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE

Cook the pasta according to package directions (until al dente.) Drain and set aside. 

In a very large pan, melt the butter over medium heat then add the garlic and stir. (Note: you can do this while the pasta is cooking)

Melted butter and garlic cooking in a pan.

Cook for about a minute (or until the garlic is fragrant). Then add the cherry tomatoes and stir. 

A pan with melted butter, tomatoes and garlic in it.

Continue cooking for about  4-5 minutes (or until the tomatoes are softened and starting to blister).

A pot of blistered tomatoes in garlic and melted butter.

Add in the can of tomatoes and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer.

Diced tomatoes on top of cherry tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk  together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. 

Cornstarch and water in bowls.

Simmer the sauce for 4-5 minutes and then slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. 

Simmering tomato sauce in a pan.

Add the chopped basil to the pan and stir. Bring to a boil and allow it to boil for one minute. Note: there is no added salt in this recipe so at this point I like to taste the sauce and see if it needs additional salt.  

Simmering tomato sauce with parsley in a pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and add in the cooked pasta.

Penne pasta on top of a pot of tomato sauce.

Gently stir together until all the pasta is coated in the sauce. 

A pot of Penne Pasta with Tomato sauce and a wooden spoon being dipped in it.

Then serve topped with chopped basil and freshly shredded parmesan cheese, optional. 

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Looking down on a bowl of penne with tomato sauce.

Penne Pasta with Homemade Tomato Sauce

If you're looking for a quick and easy dinner idea that's both comforting and delicious, look no further than penne pasta with homemade tomato sauce.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce box penne pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 10 ounce container cherry tomatoes,f rinsed and cut in half
  • 14.5 ounce can Italian style petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • extra chopped basil, optional garnish
  • fresh shredded parmesan cheese, optional garnish

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions (until al dente.) Drain and set aside.
  • In a very large pan, melt the butter over medium heat then add the garlic and stir. (Note: you can do this while the pasta is cooking)
  • Cook for about a minute (or until the garlic is fragrant). Then add the cherry tomatoes and stir.
  • Continue cooking for about 4-5 minutes (or until the tomatoes are softened and starting to blister).
  • Add in the can of tomatoes and stir well. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth.
  • Simmer the sauce for 4-5 minutes and then slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce.
  • Add the chopped basil to the pan and stir. Bring to a boil and allow it to boil for one minute. Note: there is no added salt in this recipe so at this point I like to taste the sauce and see if it needs additional salt.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add in the cooked pasta.
  • Gently stir together until all the pasta is coated in the sauce.
  • Then serve topped with chopped basil and freshly shredded parmesan cheese, optional.

Notes

  • This is a basic recipe that can be customized by adding protein, vegetables, different pasta, nuts, and more. See some of our suggestions in the post. 
  • Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. 
  • Keep leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
  • You can use Roma tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 52mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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