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This easy Angel Hair Pasta recipe is an Olive Garden copycat of their Capellini Pomodoro. It is a simple yet flavorful pasta made with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic.

Angel hair pasta is light, flavorful, and fresh tasting. It’s perfect as a meal on its own or we love to add copycat Olive Garden salad and homemade garlic bread.

White shallow dish with angel hair pasta, tomatoes and basil.
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Why We Love This Recipe

  • Olive Garden Copycat – This dish is no longer on their menu, but now you can make this restaurant favorite recipe at home!
  • Simple Ingredients – I love that this Angel Hair Pasta recipe uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients.
  • Fresh Tomato and Basil – The pairing of fresh tomato and basil can’t be beat!


Combining fresh, flavorful ingredients like tomatoes and basil with some pantry staples like pasta and olive oil results in a go-to pasta recipe!

  • Angel Hair Pasta – You can use another pasta like spaghetti.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – You can also use a flavor-infused olive oil like basil or garlic oil.
  • Sweet Yellow Onion – You can also swap in regular white or yellow onion.
  • Minced Garlic – Freshly minced is best for flavor, but you can also use the kind in a jar.
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil – I like to grab extra basil for serving.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

How To Make Angel Hair Pasta with Tomatoes

See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

The simple tomato sauce cooks up in the time it takes to boil water and cook the angel hair pasta!

Collage of images showing how to make angel hair pasta with tomatoes.
  1. Cook Pasta – Start by getting a big pot of salted water boiling and cook the pasta to al dente then drain and set aside.
  2. Cook Onion and Garlic – Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until transparent then add the garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add Tomatoes – Add the cherry tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper to the onions and cook for about 8 minutes. Use a potato masher (or your wooden spoon) to mash the tomatoes and simmer for a couple more minutes.
  4. Add Pasta – Adjust the seasoning of the sauce, to taste, and add the drained pasta. Toss to combine.
  5. Serve – Serve the pasta and sprinkle with extra fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.

Recipe FAQs

What is Capellini Pomodoro?

Capellini Pomodoro is a classic Italian pasta dish made with capellini, which is a thin, delicate type of pasta, tossed with a simple sauce made from fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil.

What kind of tomatoes should I use for Capellini Pomodoro?

I like using cherry tomatoes for Capellini Pomodoro. San Marzano tomatoes or Roma tomatoes are also commonly used, as they are meaty and have a rich flavor. However, any fresh tomatoes that are ripe and flavorful can be used.

Can I use canned tomatoes for Capellini Pomodoro?

Yes, you can use canned tomatoes if fresh tomatoes are not available. Use good-quality canned whole or crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano tomatoes, for the best flavor.


This recipe is best enjoyed fresh and is not ideal for leftovers, as the delicate pasta can lose its texture and flavor when reheated. 

Helpful Tips

  • Salt the pasta water – Salting pasta water is the first opportunity to season the dish. It’s an important step so that the pasta noodles have flavor too.
  • Timing tip – I like to put a large pot of water on to boil and start on the sauce right away. Don’t wait until the water is boiling to start the sauce, the pasta may overcook by then! 
  • Cook until al dente – It is important that the angel hair pasta be cooked just until “al dente”. To prevent pasta from overcooking, start preparing the sauce right as you bring the water for the pasta to boil. If by some chance the pasta does finish first, rinse under cold water to stop cooking. 
  • Tomatoes – I love using cherry tomatoes for simple pomodoro sauce because they are sweet and make for super simple prep! You can swap in other fresh tomatoes or even canned tomatoes, in a pinch.
A large white platter with angel hair pasta and tomatoes.

More Pasta Recipes


Angel Hair Pasta

Angel Hair Pasta with Tomatoes recipe, also called Capellini Pomodoro, is simple yet flavorful, made with fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese and extra fresh basil for serving


  • Bring 1 large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook for 3-5 minutes or until transparent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute or until tender and fragrant.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper to the pan and cook for 8 minutes.
  • Use a potato masher or the back of a spatula to mash the cherry tomatoes and simmer for an additional 2 minutes before turning off heat.
  • Taste test the sauce and add additional salt and pepper to suit taste.
  • Add strained pasta to the skillet and toss to combine.
  • Serve pasta topped with additional fresh basil and parmesan cheese.


Calories: 475kcalCarbohydrates: 90gProtein: 16gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 596mgPotassium: 402mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 342IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 2mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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