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Gemelli With Tomato Sauce (Gemelli con Tomato Sugo)

Gemelli With Tomato Sauce (Gemelli con Tomato Sugo) 4.000

Marvin Joseph for The Washington Post

Apr 3, 2020

Food writer Julia Clancy prefers red onions in this tomato sugo, which means "sauce" in Italian. They have a slightly jammier, meatier texture when cooked and pack a sharp hit of acidity that brightens a speedy stove-top sauce. If white onions or shallots are what you have, they’re a perfect substitute. As a dish with few ingredients, two things go a long way to make this bowl of pasta its best self: ripe tomatoes and generously salted water.

For well-salted water that tastes like the sea, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of fine sea salt or 2 to 3 tablespoons of Diamond Crystal kosher salt in 4 quarts of water for 1 pound of pasta.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for the pasta water
  • 2 cups grated ripe tomato (about 2 large tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup grated red onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound gemelli or tagliatelle

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Combine the tomato, onion, oil, garlic and salt in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugo is fragrant and slightly jammy, 12 to 15 minutes. While stirring constantly, add the basil and butter and remove from the heat.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package instructions indicate. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the tomato sugo. Toss until the strands are glossy and slick with sauce. (Add more of the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed.) Heat the pasta over medium heat, tossing frequently, until just warmed through, 1 to 3 minutes.

Divide the pasta among 4 bowls, top with additional basil and serve.

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Recipe Source

From food writer Julia Clancy.

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 699

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 32g 49%

Saturated Fat: 6g 30%

Cholesterol: 8mg 3%

Sodium: 200mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates: 88g 29%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 15g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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