Basil Pomodoro

Bryan and I were visiting some friends in Philadelphia who live a few blocks from Little Italy. While they were at work, we had the strenuous job of entertaining ourselves, and we ended up at Ralph’s, “the oldest Italian restaurant in Philadelphia.” I’m not sure how true their claims of being the oldest are, but I am sure that they had the most delicious ziti pomodoro I’ve ever had.

Four months later, I’ve finally attempted a pomodoro sauce, and oh my goodness is it tasty. I won’t claim any comparison to Ralph’s, as I made quite a few changes, but this is definitely a great vegetarian meal.


2 T olive oil
4 med tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t granulated onion
1 t celery salt
3 T red wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 T kosher salt
2 oz cream cheese
small handful basil leaves

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pot, and add minced garlic when hot. Sautee until fragrant. Quarter your tomatoes, and toss those in with spices, wine, vinegar, and chicken broth. Reserve the cream cheese and basil. Let the tomatoes simmer down, releasing all of that tomatoey goodness the sauce.

When it’s simmered down to the consistency you want, stir in the cream cheese and half the basil.

Bring it back to a simmer to heat through, and stir with your noodles. Although it’s traditionally served with ziti noodles, I used spaghetti, and they worked wonderfully. Top with remaining basil, and serve.

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