Pasta Napolitana With Basil Oil

5 from 2 votes
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A quick weeknight dinner. This pasta napolitana with basil oil only takes 30 minutes. Minimal ingredients, maximum flavor. You are going to love the big flavor and simplicity to this meal, it’s a favorite in my house.

Pasta on a white plate with basil oil and cheese.
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Why Make This Pasta Napolitana

This dish is really tasty, full of flavor. Tastes like it took all day to make but really it’s ready in under 30 minutes. Garlicky goodness in every bite.

My husband loves this dish, we even add ground beef to it often if we want something with more protein. This meal works great for meal prep and the bright tangy basil oil is the best finish and garnish to this pasta. Try my Veggie Ragu for another saucy vegetarian dish!

What Is Pasta Napolitana

It is a very quick sauce made with just tomatoes, garlic, crushed red pepper, and seasoning, often times with basil as well. This dish is traditionally meatless, however you can enjoy it with ground beef. In Italy, it is referred to as la salsa (the sauce). Simple, flavorful and quick.

Ingredients Needed

All the ingredients needed on a grey counter.
  • San Marzano Tomatoes. These are the best tomatoes to make marinara out of. They are typically in the same aisle as the pasta sauce and tomato paste. They have a sweet flavor and thick flesh, by using this particular tomato, we won’t need the bitter tomato paste for this recipe.
  • Cherry tomatoes. They add more texture to the sauce and are easy to break up after roasting.
  • Garlic Cloves. Roughly chopped or leave them whole.
  • Pasta. Any pasta of choice will work. Traditionally this dish is served with spaghetti. I like to jazz mine up with a more fun shape like a long cut fusilli.
  • Seasoning. Dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper.
  • Fresh Parmesan. Optional, to flavor the sauce a bit.
  • Fresh Mozzarella. Optional to add to the pasta dish to give a creamy cheesy texture.
  • Basil. Fresh basil only! This is for the basil oil. It’s the main ingredient for the oil so be sure to find a good bunch of basil.
  • Olive oil. A high quality, neutral in flavor oil will work best. This is to grease the baking pan for the tomato and to use in the basil oil.

Steps To Make This Recipe

Step One. Set the oven to 450º. In an 8×8 or similar in size baking dish, add 1 tbsp olive oil, San Marzano Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped garlic cloves, seasoning. Cook this mixture for 30 minutes.

Step Two. Start to boil your pasta water. Be sure to salt the water. While you are waiting for the water to boil, make the basil oil. Simply add the basil, 1/2 tsp salt and the leftover oil to a high speed blender or food processor. Blitz until it is well combined and basil is finely chopped.

Step Three. Once the salted water is boiling, add in the noodles and cook them until al dente or according to the package of the noodle shape you are using. Drain and add to roasted tomato baking dish once finished. Add in parmesan, toss and top with Mozzarella (if using). Plate, drizzle with basil oil and serve. Enjoy!

Pasta in a white baking dish up close with basil oil.

FAQ’s & Recipe Tips

Can I make this vegan?

Yes! Make this Pasta Napolitana vegan by skipping the parmesan and mozzarella.

Can I add meat to this?

Yes, I suggest ground beef or ground pork, you can also add in chopped pepperoni, it’s SO good.

What does the basil oil taste like?

The basil oil tastes like basil! It’s like pesto but not nearly as thick and strong, it adds a nice little highlight to the pasta.

Recipe Pairings

This dish is wonderful with my Overnight Bread and Air Fryer Garlic Bread. You can also pair it with my Kale Salad With Lemon Honey Tahini.

Recipe Variations

Pasta. Use fettuccini or spaghetti in place of the long cut fusilli.

San Marzano Tomatoes. I highly recommend using this particular tomato, it is a bit sweeter than typical canned tomatoes. If you can’t use this type and need to use another canned whole tomato, just add a little tsp of sugar to the sauce to cut any bitter flavors and highlight the flavors more.

Olive Oil. Feel free to use avocado in place of olive oil.

Garlic. The garlic can be whole, roughly chopped or mince, do what you prefer.

Recipe Pairings

This would be great with my Garlic Rolls or any of my tasty salads.

Other Pasta Recipes To Try

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Pasta on a white plate with a fork.
5 from 2 votes

Pasta Napolitana

A quick weeknight dinner. This pasta napolitana with basil oil only takes 30 minutes. Minimal ingredients, maximum flavor
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven
  • High Speed Blender

Ingredients 

Pasta Napolitana

  • 1 lb spaghetti noodles or long fusilli , *see notes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 -28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 -16 oz cherry tomatoes, about 1½ cups
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ cup Mozzarella or buratta , *optional for topping

Basil Oil

  • cup fresh basil
  • ¼-⅓ cup olive oil, *use more as needed to thin the basil out
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions 

  • Set the oven to 450º. In an 8×8 or similar in size baking dish, add 1 tbsp olive oil, San Marzano Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped garlic cloves, seasoning. Cook this mixture for 30 minutes uncovered in the oven.
  • Start to boil your pasta water. Be sure to salt the water. While you are waiting for the water to boil, make the basil oil. Simply add the basil, 1/2 tsp salt and the leftover oil to a high speed blender or food processor. Blitz until it is well combined and basil is finely chopped. Feel free to add a little more oil to the basil mix to thin out a little if needed.
  • Once the salted water is boiling, add in the noodles and cook them until al dente or according to the package of the noodle shape you are using. Drain and add to roasted tomato baking dish once finished. Add in parmesan, toss and top with Mozzarella (if using). Plate, drizzle generously with basil oil and serve. Enjoy! 

Notes

*any pasta of choice will work great, fettichini, rigatoni, choose your favorite. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 599kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 702mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Calories: 599
Keyword: 30 minute
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Recipe Rating




1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    New addiction unlocked that Basil oil was so good I will be ladling it on all pasta dishes from here on out.