Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro Recipe- CopyKat Recipes


Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro is a delicious pasta dish with fresh tomatoes, cloves of garlic, basil leaves, and Parmesan cheese. This fresh tomato sauce is an easy recipe. It is one of those perfect pasta dishes you can throw together in minutes. 

copycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro in a bowlcopycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro in a bowl

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Quick and Easy Pasta Recipe

This copycat Olive Garden Cappellini Pomodoro recipe is a light pasta entree made with fresh ingredients. You can prepare this dish when it takes to cook the pasta.

So, if you are looking for an easy Italian dinner when coming home from a long day at work, this dish is for you.

What Is Capellini Pomodoro?

Pomodoro means tomato in Italian, and capellini consists of long, delicate strands of pasta that go best with light sauces like this one. Capellini Pomodoro is a classic combo of pasta, tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil, and basil – it’s a simple sauce but a standout Italian favorite.

This Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro is full of fresh flavors. Fresh diced plum tomatoes, garlic, basil, and tangy Parmesan cheese over thin capellini pasta. The pomodoro sauce contains no meat, making this dish a delicious meatless meal.

Is Capellini Pasta the Same as Angel Hair Pasta?

Capellini and angel hair pasta are similar products but are sold under different names. They are the thinnest kinds of spaghetti-like pasta you can buy. Capellini is of Italian origin and means little hairs in Italian.

Angel Hair could be regarded as the English name for a similar pasta. Angel hair pasta is slightly thinner than capellini, and for this recipe, you could use either one. These thin noodles will get lost in a more hearty meat sauce.

What Is the Difference Between Pomodoro Sauce and Marinara Sauce?

The basic ingredients are the same for both Pomodoro sauce and marinara sauce – tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil. The main difference is in the consistency of the sauce. Marinara tends to be a bit more liquid than Pomodoro with chunkier pieces of tomatoes.


Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Garlic cloves
  • Plum tomatoes
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Capellini pasta
  • Ground black pepper
Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro ingredientsOlive Garden Capellini Pomodoro ingredients

How to Make Capellini Pomodoro

  1. Prepare pasta in a large pot according to package instructions.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
olive oil and mined garlic in a skilletolive oil and mined garlic in a skillet
  1. Add tomatoes and pepper. Cook just until heated, stirring constantly.
  2. Place hot, cooked pasta into a large bowl.
  3. Pour tomato mixture over pasta.
  4. Add basil and Parmesan cheese.
capellini pomodoro ingredients in a large bowlcapellini pomodoro ingredients in a large bowl
  1. Toss gently and serve immediately with Parmesan.
a bowl of copycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoroa bowl of copycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro

Flavorful Substitutions and Additions to the Pomodoro Sauce

  • Add two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the tomato sauce to brighten its overall flavor.
  • A pinch or two of sugar added to the sauce while cooking cuts down the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Sautee 1 cup of white mushrooms in olive oil, then add to the tomato sauce.
  • Instead of parmesan, use cubed fresh mozzarella or asiago cheese. A creamier cheese complements the freshness of the tomato sauce.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of chopped chili flakes into the tomato mix for a spicier version of this Pomodoro sauce.
  • For a low-carb meal, substitute cooked spaghetti squash for capellini pasta.
  • If you want to add meat, add 1/4 cup of cooked ham, pancetta, or bacon into the tomato sauce.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Before storing, allow your Capellini Pomodoro to reach room temperature. Place the pasta in an airtight container. Separate the pasta from the sauce if possible, as this can help maintain the texture of the pasta when reheating.

Store the leftover Capellini Pomodoro in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Note that the pasta will tend to soak up the sauce as it sits in the fridge.

If you don’t plan to eat it soon, you can freeze the dish. It’s best to freeze the sauce separately from the pasta. This way, you can reheat the sauce and then toss it with freshly cooked pasta, which will provide the best texture. If stored correctly, the frozen sauce can last up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.


  • Microwave: If you’re in a hurry, transfer the Capellini Pomodoro to a microwave-safe dish, covering it loosely with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Heat in intervals of 1 minute, stirring in between to ensure even reheating. Be careful not to overcook, as the pasta can become overly soft.
  • Stovetop: For the best texture, reheating on the stovetop is recommended. Pour the sauce into a pan and heat over medium heat. Once the sauce is hot, add the pasta and toss gently until thoroughly heated.

Tips for Reheating Leftover Pasta

  • Fresh herbs, like basil, can wilt or darken with reheating. If the aesthetics and flavor of fresh basil are essential for your dish, consider adding a fresh sprinkle after reheating.
  • If you find the pasta has absorbed too much of the sauce or seems a bit dry, you can add a splash of water, broth, or even a touch of olive oil while reheating to rejuvenate the dish.
overhead view of copycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro in a bowloverhead view of copycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro in a bowl

Love Olive Garden? Try these copycat recipes!

Favorite Pasta Recipes

Check out more of my simple pasta recipes and the best Olive Garden copycat recipes here on CopyKat!

copycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro in a bowlcopycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro in a bowl

Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro

Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro is a light dinner that is perfect for summer.

Add to Collection

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Capellini Pomodoro, Olive Garden Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 602kcal


  • 12 ounces capellini pasta cooked
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ounce basil leaves minced
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese


  • Prepare pasta according to the package instructions.

  • Heat the olive oil, add the garlic, and cook until it turns white.

  • Add the tomatoes and pepper and heat thoroughly (about 2-3 minutes), stirring constantly (tomatoes should not lose their shape). Remove from the heat.

  • Transfer the hot, cooked pasta into a large bowl. Gently toss the pasta with the tomato mixture, the basil, and half of the parmesan cheese.

  • Serve immediately and pass the remaining parmesan.


Calories: 602kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 767mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2430IU | Vitamin C: 32.8mg | Calcium: 308mg | Iron: 2.2mg