Recipe Review

I Tried the Pasta Pomodoro from The Bear and Have Some Thoughts

published Sep 4, 2022
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Credit: Aisha Joshi

This summer, I (along with basically everyone else) couldn’t help but binge-watch, and then rewatch, The Bear on Hulu. You could say it was my “show of the summer,” even though it’s hardly light or breezy (try stressful and devastating). But we’re not here to dissect TV crushes (hi, Carmy!) — we’re here for pasta pomodoro.

Aside from anxiety-inducing storylines and self-sabotaging characters, The Bear is filled with gorgeous shots of food that temporarily give your brain a boost of serotonin. One of the dishes that holds a lot of meaning in the show is pasta pomodoro. Because I myself have a lot of love for the Italian dish, I knew I needed to give the recipe a shot.

Credit: Aisha Joshi

How to Make Pasta Pomodoro from The Bear

This recipe, as shared by Matty Matheson and Courtney Storer on YouTube, is inspired by Marcella Hazan’s recipe. Begin by cooking a halved onion and some garlic in butter and olive oil. Next, add tomato paste — to fry in the butter mixture and build a rich tomato flavor— and some crushed red pepper flakes. (I added a teaspoon because the recipe itself didn’t specify how much.) Pour in two cans of crushed tomatoes plus a few sprigs of basil, then let the pot simmer for about an hour-and-a-half before cooking the pasta.

My Honest Review of Pasta Pomodoro from The Bear

I tried to keep an open mind while following this recipe. After all, it was inspired by a legend as far as Italian cooking goes. Still, I had my doubts, and unfortunately, this sauce wasn’t my favorite. While the onion flavor did make its way into the sauce, I really missed the texture of having chopped onions. I also found that the 90 minutes I allotted for simmering wasn’t enough to cook out the tinny raw taste of two whole cans of crushed tomatoes.

Credit: Aisha Joshi

If You’re Going to Make The Bear’s Pasta Pomodoro, a Few Tips

  1. Chop the onion. The next time I make pomodoro, I’ll roughly chop the onion rather than letting the halves swim in a sea of sauce.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes. I really like the texture of having a mix of canned crushed tomatoes and freshly chopped tomatoes.
  3. Let the sauce simmer for a few hours. Set aside an afternoon to let the sauce simmer for two to three hours so those tomatoes and their flavors really caramelize and deepen.