The Pasta Queen's Basil Trick For Perfect Pomodoro Sauce - Exclusive

If there is one food we can eat every day and not get tired of it, it's pasta. The classic staple can be paired with a multitude of sauces: from cacio e pepe to arrabbiata, bolognese to the original marinara sauce. Nadia Munno, also known as the Pasta Queen on social media, has stated that her personal favorite pasta topper is pomodoro, consisting of tomato, basil and garlic. In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Munno revealed a simple basil trick that will take your gravy to the next level.

After Munno reaches for the basil (which we will get to in a second), she focuses on the tomatoes. "And one thing I do that is different to make it really extra ... [is] I strain the tomatoes so there's no seeds, no peels," the pasta connoisseur explained. According to Munno, this method "makes the tomato a lot sweeter because the seeds themselves are very acidic." Spaghetti takes around 8 minutes to cook, so the Pasta Queen advises that you boil the starch for 4 minutes, then leave the remainder of the cooking time for the pan to finish in the tomato sauce. 

So where does her basil taste hack come in to play?

Cook the basil with the seasonings first

Don't season your basil in the sauce while it's cooking — do it beforehand. As for the seasonings, Nadia Munno says she "would do garlic [and] basil. I sizzle it together. So the basil in sea salt before the tomatoes go in." The TikTok star claims that tactic "releases a lot of the flavor." 

She continued, "Then I put the strained tomatoes in salt. Then I add the pasta. Four minutes into its cooking, I add that in." Munno recommends pouring pasta water into the mixture towards the end of its cooking time in order to bind the ingredients together.

Finish the pasta dish off with some parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves Salt Bae-style, and voila! You just made The Pasta Queen's favorite dish. Munno elaborated that seasoning the basil with sea salt before including it into the pomodoro is a trick her grandmother taught her. "A lot of people think it's a mistake in cooking, but it actually releases so much flavor into the olive oil," she told Tasting Table. Who knew leftover pasta water and basil adorned with sea salt would be so important during our adult lives!