Salsa Di Pomodoro Alla Napoletana

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This easy Salsa Di Pomodoro Alla Napoletana recipe is perfect for weekday dinner. And bonus, it’s vegan – unless you’re like me and you add a bit of parmesan to it. 

An easy recipe for Salsa Di Pomodoro Alla Napoletana from La Fenice in Toronto.

Although I’m a terrible Canadian as I loathe cold weather, the one upside to it is a return to comfort food.

Most people shed their no carb/low carb/paleo/keto/Atkins diet and embrace the season of figure-hiding sweaters.

October is officially pasta month, with World Pasta Day falling on October 25, 2018 this year.

World Pasta Day

What I like about World Pasta Day is that while we think of pasta traditionally an Italian dish it can be found in many cultures throughout the world.

The goal of World Pasta day is not only about celebrating the heritage of Italian pasta, but celebrating international dishes.

That’s why the International Pasta Organization (yes this is actually an organization – how can I join???) meets each year in a different location. Last year they met in Brazil to celebrate, this year it is in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

It’s the 20th anniversary of World Pasta Day. As the very first World Pasta Day was held in Naples I wanted to share a Neapolitan pasta recipe as sometimes the best recipes are the simplest.

Popular Pasta Dishes

Salsa Di Pomodoro Alla Napoletana might seem fancy schmancy as it’s Italian but it’s a simple but classic Neapolitan tomato sauce.

This tomato sauce recipe hails from Naples Italy and it is so common it’s simply called la salsa, which means the sauce because it is THE sauce.

If you go to Napoli and ask for Salsa Di Pomodoro Alla Napoletana they will have no idea what you’re talking about because it’s not special to them.

It’s an everyday pasta sauce recipe that is used on it’s own or the base for more ingredients.


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A Italian Chef’s Recipe for Salsa Di Pomodoro Alla Napoletana

This is straight from the cookbook of Chef Luigi Orgera, the founder of La Fenice in Toronto, which opened in 1986.

Originally from Italy, his family was already in the hospitality business.

They immigrated to Canada after the Second World War as their village in southern Italy had been destroyed. La Fenice, means The Phoenix and this reflects Orgera’s family rising from the ashes to rebuild their family business in Canada.

Orgera was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2000, Chef Orgera collaborated to write this cookbook as an homage to his family recipes. It was released in 2001. You can still buy it here on Amazon.

La Fenice is located in the entertainment district of Toronto and remains a family business. It is now owned and managed by his daughter Rita, and her husband, Chef Rocco.

How to Substitute Canned Tomatoes for Fresh

There’s no doubt that fresh ripe tomatoes in season are amazing. But out of season tomatoes are not so great at all. They are usually unripe, white inside and flavourless.

This is why I used canned tomatoes when they are out of season. At least they were canned at their peak ripeness.

If you’re worried about BPA in canned food you can find BPA-free lining in these canned tomatoes: Muir Glen or Amy’s Kitchen.

Generally, one 14oz can of tomatoes can replace one pound.

Can you substitute dried basil for fresh basil in a tomato sauce recipe.

Can You Substitute Fresh Basil with Dried Basil

Well technically you can do anything but I wouldn’t. Simple tomato sauces like this are quick and easy to make but really depend on quality ingredients.

If a recipe calls for fresh basil I almost NEVER use dried. If it’s just a garnish and I don’t have fresh basil on hand or any other fresh herbs I’ll just omit it all together.

And as for olive oil, if you have high quality extra virgin olive oil this is the time to use it.

An easy recipe for Salsa Di Pomodoro Alla Napoletana from La Fenice in Toronto.

Salsa Di Pomodoro Alla Napoletana

Yield: 4-6 people
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This easy Salsa Di Pomodoro Alla Napoletana recipe is perfect for weekday dinner. And bonus, it’s vegan – unless you’re like me and you add a bit of parmesan to it. 


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2.25 lbs tomatoes, chopped or 2 1/4 cans of 14oz diced tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1.25 lbs dried spaghetti or fettuccine


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is transparent.
  2. Add the tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, salt and pepper.
  3. Cook slowly, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and the oil floats free from the tomato.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, toss with the sauce and serve


Cookbook note: This is a simple but versatile sauce. You can even add green pepper, black beans and corn to create a delicious salsa that can be served with blue corn chips and scrambled eggs.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 236mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 10g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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If you make this Salsa Di Pomodoro Alla Napoletana recipe please let me know how it goes in the comments below!

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Join the Conversation

  1. I totally agree with you about the fresh vs. dried Basil, Its one of the few herbs I don’t bother to dry anymore because it looses all that makes it so lovely, where other herbs can hold up to it. When fresh basil is in season I always make and freeze a bunch of pesto, and I have found that I can substitute a couple tablespoons of that for a handful of fresh basil in most recipes and it keeps that flavor of the fresh basil in the recipe. You could adjust the other Ingredients if you were so inclined but I just throw it in because a little extra garlic, oil or pine nuts never hurt!!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Such a good point! Pesto is so good to have on hand with you want that touch of fresh herbs that dried really cannot provide.

      I also really like fresh oregano over dried, but you don’t see a lot of recipes that use it.

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