Welcome dear readers of Paulina Cocina! The macaroni and tomato recipe is considered a classic of Italian cuisine and has become a favorite at the table of many families. Their simplicity and comforting flavor make them a popular and accessible dish for everyone.

The beauty of this tomato macaroni recipe is its simplicity. Although there are more elaborate variations, these simple macaroni with tomato sauce take all the prizes if we are looking for a quick, rich and filling recipe. Our suggestion is that you make this recipe, invite the whole family and get ready for the applause.

About the tomato macaroni

Macaroni is a type of tube-shaped pasta that can be found in different sizes and thicknesses. They are not only well known for the recipe of macaroni with tomato from the grandmother but in the United States it is very common for us to hear about the recipe for Macaroni and cheese.

What are macaroni?

In gastronomy, macaroni is a type of pasta in the form of long, thin tubes. They are similar to penne, but are generally larger in size. Macaroons are cylindrical and have straight, angle-cut ends. Its name derives from the Italian word “macaroni”.

Pasta is traditionally made with durum wheat semolina and water, although other ingredients can also be used. The shape and size make them suitable for catching and holding sauces and seasonings.

Portioning our recipe

A serving of tomato macaroni, which is usually about 1 cup (140-150 grams) of cooked pasta with a moderate amount of tomato sauce, can be around 200-300 calories. Of course, both calculations (amount of pasta and calories) will vary if we add ingredients to the recipe.

How long do macaroni take to cook?

The macaroni is cooked in boiling salted water until al dente, that is, cooked but still firm when bitten. As a general starting point, it is usually recommended to cook them for approximately 8 to 12 minutes.

A good practice is to taste the pasta a few minutes before the recommended time is up to check the texture. It is always better to go a little undercooked and have a pasta al dente, as it can be cooked a little longer if necessary. Once overcooked, the pasta will become mushy and lose its firmness.

Where do tomato macaroni come from?

The combination of macaroni or pasta with tomato sauce specifically developed in Italy in the 18th and 19th centuries. During that period, tomatoes began to be widely used in Italian cuisine after their arrival from America. The pasta mix with tomato sauce quickly became popular.

The popularity of tomato macaroni spread beyond the borders of Italy as Italian immigrants brought their culinary culture with them to other countries. Over time, it has become a widely known and appreciated dish in many parts of the world.

5 particularities of macaroni with tomato

  1. In Italy, each region has its own way of preparing tomato macaroni, with minor variations in the sauce and ingredients used. For example, in southern Italy, it is common to add fresh basil to tomato sauce.
  2. Tomato macaroni can be combined with a wide variety of ingredients, such as minced meat, sausage, vegetables, grated cheese, or other sauces to customize the dish to individual tastes.
  3. Tomato macaroni is a great option for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, since most recipes do not include meat or animal products.
  4. Tomato macaroni is affordable and cheap to makemaking them a popular choice for everyday meals.
  5. Tomato macaroni is known to be a comforting dish that evokes feelings of warmth and familiarity. It is believed to be an ideal comfort food for cold days or times when comfort is sought through food.

Grandma’s Style Macaroni and Tomato Recipe

To make some grandma-style tomato macaroni and tomato, it’s important to let the sauce simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. To further enhance the flavor, you can add herbs like basil, oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Yield: 2 servings

Preparation time: 40 minutes


  • 250 gr of macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 400 g canned crushed tomatoes (you can use fresh peeled and crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil leaves, to decorate
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling (optional)

How to make tomato macaroni

  1. In a large pot, boil water with salt. Add macaroni and cook 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and reserve.
  2. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion with the garlic and cook until golden. Add the crushed tomatoes with a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomato. Season to taste and mix.
  3. Reduce heat and allow tomato sauce to simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once it is ready, add the cooked macaroni and mix gently.
  4. Cook over low heat for a few more minutes so that the macaroni gets hot and absorbs part of the sauce. Remove from heat and serve decorated with basil leaves. Optional sprinkle with grated cheese.

Source: www.paulinacocina.net

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