Spaghetti Pomodoro with kale, white beans, and garlicky breadcrumbs comes together in just 30 minutes. Both kids and adults will love this simple pomodoro pasta for easy weeknight dinners.
This recipe post is sponsored by DeLallo. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions are my own.
Why You'll Love this Spaghetti Pomodoro
This pasta pomodoro recipe makes delicious use of pantry items such as canned tomatoes, white beans, and breadcrumbs. It starts with an aromatic base of pancetta, shallots, garlic, and chili flakes for richness and heat. Next comes a bright tomato sauce with ribbons of kale and protein-rich white beans.
And to finish, a golden, garlicky panko breadcrumb topper that you'll want to start garnishing ALL pasta dishes with. This meal is kid-friendly and comes together in just 30 minutes. Plus, it's easy to make vegetarian and/or dairy-free if you avoid animal products.
Because truly, what's better than a restaurant-quality pasta dinner in the comfort of your own kitchen?
- DeLallo Spaghetti: DeLallo pasta comes from where pasta was born, which is a region near Naples at the beginning of the Amalfi Coast. They use traditional pasta-making methods to respect the ingredients, as well as preserve the pasta’s color, texture and aroma.
- DeLallo San Marzano Tomatoes: The vibrant red hue and beautiful balance of fresh, sweet flavor makes San Marzano's my go-to canned tomato. Plus, their delicate, thick flesh contains fewer seeds and less water, making them the superior choice for simple tomato sauces.
- DeLallo Navy Beans: These small, savory white beans are meaty and dense, and add a decent punch of fiber and protein. DeLallo's beans, in particular, are harvested at peak flavor and packed fresh to ensure the ideal taste and texture.
- Pancetta: In Italy, pancetta is often used to add richness and depth to soups and pastas. Similar to bacon, pancetta is cured pork belly that is either sold in thin strips or cubes. Look for the packs of pre-chopped cubes to cut back on prep time!
- Breadcrumbs: What truly sets this pomodoro pasta aside from all others is the garlicky breadcrumb topping. This is a simple mix of fresh garlic, butter, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and panko breadcrumbs. And no, this part of the recipe is NOT optional. 😉
- Kale: The earthy flavor of kale plays against the brightness of tomatoes beautifully in this recipe. Even if you're not the biggest fan of kale, trust me it SHINES in this sauce. However if you're steadfast on avoiding it, you can always use spinach instead.
Step 1: Prepare the Garlicky Breadcrumbs
Heat a mix of olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add minced garlic and cook 1 minute, until aromatic. Next, add the panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and stir to evenly coat. Cook until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown and smell toasty, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the breadcrumbs to a bowl and return the skillet to medium heat.
Step 2: Cook the Pancetta, Aromatics, and Kale
Add the pancetta to the heated skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it starts to crisp up. Next, add the shallots, garlic, and chili flakes, and cook 2 to 3 additional minutes. Lastly, stir in the stemmed, torn kale and cook until its tough fibers begin to soften.
Step 3: Prepare the Pomodoro Sauce
Once the pancetta, shallots, and kale are cooked, add the San Marzano tomatoes and white beans to the skillet. Stir to coat, and gently simmer over medium-low heat while you cook the spaghetti.
Step 4: Cook the Spaghetti
While the pomodoro sauce simmers, heat a large stock pot or Dutch oven of salted water over high heat. Once boiling, add the spaghetti, and cook until al dente. Prior to draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, and drain remaining. Return spaghetti back to pot.
Step 5: Add Pomodoro Sauce to Pot with Spaghetti
Carefully pour the skillet of pomodoro sauce into the pot of drained spaghetti and toss to coat. Gradually stream in pasta water, tossing constantly, until sauce begins clinging to noodles. Sprinkle in Parmesan cheese in small batches to prevent it from clumping, and toss again.
Step 6: Top Spaghetti Pomodoro with Garlicky Breadcrumbs and Basil
Arrange a serving of the pasta pomodoro on a plate, and sprinkle garlicky breadcrumbs overtop. Lastly, garnish with a smattering of fresh basil and light drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.
FAQs and Expert Tips:
What is the Difference Between Pomodoro and Marinara Sauce?
Marinara sauce is typically a blend of tomatoes, herbs, and spices that gets simmered anywhere from 30 minutes to multiple hours to develop depth of flavor. It typically coats the pasta more heavily than pomodoro, which is meant to be a lighter, simpler sauce. A lot of pomodoro sauces are even made with fresh tomatoes, however the canned San Marzano tomatoes are the next best thing (if not even better!).
Can I Make this Spaghetti Pomodoro Vegetarian?
This recipe can very easily be made vegetarian by swapping the pancetta for shiitake mushrooms. Simply chop the shiitake mushrooms and sauté them in olive oil for about 5 minutes, until soft. The mushrooms will add the similar savory flavor and meaty consistency, so you won't be lacking on richness.
What to Serve with Pasta Pomodoro:
The beauty of this 30 minute recipe is that it's an all-in-one meal! Between the protein, fiber, and sneaky serving of vegetables, it doesn't even need any sides. (However a simple green salad and fresh garlic bread never hurt.) If you're going the side salad route, stick to a light dressing, such as a balsamic vinaigrette or my go-to mustard dressing.
More 30 Minute Pasta Recipes:
If you make this simple pasta recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
Spaghetti Pomodoro with Kale and White Beans
- Large skillet
- Stock pot or Dutch oven
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 minced garlic cloves, divided
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 6 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 4 oz. diced pancetta* sub shiitake mushrooms if making vegetarian
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- ½ tsp. crushed chili flakes
- ½ tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 (28-oz.) can DeLallo San Marzano Tomatoes
- 1 (15-oz.) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 lb. DeLallo Semolina Spaghetti
- Fresh basil for serving
- Heat butter and 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add two cloves of the minced garlic, and cook 1 minute, until aromatic. Stir in breadcrumbs and 3 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese; cook until golden and toasted, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer breadcrumbs to a bowl and return pan to medium heat.
- Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to pan. Once hot, add pancetta, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until crispy. (While pancetta cooks, this is a good time to bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.) Add shallots, remaining 2 garlic cloves, chili flakes, salt, and pepper to pan with pancetta; cook 2 to 3 more minutes, until shallots soften. Stir in kale; cook 1 to 2 minutes, until leaves start to soften.
- Add San Marzano tomatoes and white beans to pan; stir to combine. Cover, and gently simmer over medium-low heat. At this point, your pasta water should be boiling. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Prior to draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, and drain remaining. Return spaghetti to pot, and carefully pour skillet of pomodoro sauce over spaghetti. Gradually stream in reserved pasta cooking water, tossing constantly, until sauce begins clinging to noodles. Sprinkle in remaining 3 Tbsp. parmesan cheese. Adjust seasonings as needed.
- Arrange a serving of pasta on a plate, and garnish with fresh basil and a spoonful of garlicky breadcrumbs.