Dinner · Lunch

Spaghetti With Garlic, Tomatoes, And Parmesan

Spaghetti With Garlic, Tomatoes, And Parmesan

This recipe for Spaghetti With Garlic, Tomatoes, And Parm is one of my go-to recipes for a busy day. It is very easy to throw together and it is so good. It is one of our favorites and I make it quite a lot during the Spring and Summer months when the tomatoes are nice and fresh. You can certainly make this any time of year or whenever you like. It is that good.

These simple ingredients make for a delicious dinner and you can pair this with whatever you like. I typically pair this with some sort of salad, fresh cucumbers, or garlic bread. It is just a simple meal that you can pull together in no time at all. It usually takes me about the same time it takes the pasta to cook. About 15 minutes and it is on the table. This is so easy to make that my daughter will make this for lunch sometimes.

Let me share with you how I make it.


1 small pkg of Spaghetti Noodles (or you can double this entire recipe for a bigger family)
1/4 C. Olive Oil
3 Cloves of garlic – minced
1 Pkg. Cherry Tomatoes – whole
1/2 C. Chicken Broth ( your favorite brand will do just fine)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon ( or you can use half of a lemon)
1 Pkg. Diced Pancetta OR 4 slices Bacon- cubed
1/3 C. parmesan Cheese – grated
1/2 Tsp. Red pepper flakes ( more or less to your liking)
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 Tsp. Dried parsley


  1. In a large skillet over medium-low heat Add the Olive oil. Let the oil come to a shimmer. About 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt it with about 1 tbsp of kosher salt.
  2. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for about 10 to 15 seconds or until you begin to smell the garlic.
  3. Add the tomatoes and the chicken broth to the garlic and stir.
  4. In the meantime, add the pasta to boiling salted water and cook just shy of done. Al dente. Do not drain. This will cook while the pasta sauce is cooking. You can transfer the pasta directly into the sauce later.
  5. After putting the pasta on to cook, add the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and parsley to the tomato mixture. Stir. Let this cook for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and tender. Using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula smash the tomatoes in the pan. This will create a wonderful sauce for the pasta.
  6. When the tomatoes have been smashed add the lemon zest and lemon juice. This is going to brighten up the dish and bring all of the flavors to life. Add the pancetta back into the sauce. Stir to combine well.
  7. Now the pasta should just be al dente. (You can taste the pasta before adding it to the sauce to make sure it is al dente. It should have a slight snap or bite in the center of the pasta but not undercooked/raw.) Using tongs, remove the pasta from the water and directly into the tomato sauce. DO NOT MIX.
  8. Once you have added all of the pasta to the sauce, and before mixing, add the parmesan cheese to the top of the pasta. Now using your tongs, mix the pasta together. If the sauce gets too thick you can add a ladle full or two of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce a bit. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce and absorb some of those wonderful flavors.
  9. Now it is time to serve the pasta. Plate the pasta in a serving dish or on your plate and top it with more parmesan cheese and parsley.

  • You can serve this however you like. Sometimes I have a bit of salad greens on hand and I serve it with a side salad. Sometimes it is just salted cucumbers. Every now and then I will make garlic bread to go with it. It really just depends on the day and what I have on hand.
  • If you do not have or can not find pancetta then by all means use diced bacon. It will turn out just as delicious. A slightly smokey flavor but is still very good.
  • Do not drain your pasta water. If you do drain it please save about 1 cup of the pasta water. This helps to make the sauce even tastier and to thin it down a bit if it is thick. This is liquid gold ya’ll.
  • If you do not have spaghetti pasta on hand you can certainly use any kind of pasta you like or have on hand. NO WORRIES!
  • You can use 1/2 of a lemon for the juice or the entire lemon as I do. It just depends on how much lemon flavor you want in your dish. I opt for the entire lemon as this just helps balance out the tomato flavor with the pasta. You do you. It is your kitchen and your taste buds.
  • You can certainly leave out the bacon or pancetta for a meat-free version. And if you are dairy free or vegan you can use vegan parm in this recipe.
  • For a salty bite, you can add about 1 to 2 tbsp of capers to this dish right before you add the pasta. SO GOOD!

2 thoughts on “Spaghetti With Garlic, Tomatoes, And Parmesan

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