Pasta Pomodoro

ilcaminetto_jameswalt2_executivechef_photocredit_brandonhart_smaller  20171016-ilcaminetto-1768

Il Caminetto’s Executive Chef James Walt

If there were a dish that personified Chef James Walt passions, his Pasta Pomodoro just may be it. As former Executive Chef to the Canadian Embassy in Rome and a pioneer of the farm-to-table lifestyle, this recipe is the perfect combination of Italian flavours with a dash of local BC flair. Engage all your senses and savour each moment as you create this simple, yet delicious dish.

Serves 4


  • 150 g onion, finely minced
  • 1.5 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 600 g Roma tomatoes, peeled & eyes removed
    or substitute canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 8 basil leaves, torn into thirds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 pinches sea salt or to taste
  • 95 ml extra virgin olive oil

In a wide saute pan on medium-low heat, sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and very lightly coloured, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Add the fresh or canned tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, basil leaves, and sugar and then season with sea salt.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until nearly all liquid has evaporated. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs while leaving in the basil. Check the seasoning and set aside in a warm space.


  • 300 g high quality dried pasta, preferably long noodles or 250 g fresh pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on high heat. Follow the directions for al dente pasta (should be on the package) or boil fresh pasta for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Return the sauce to the heat and drain the pasta. Transfer the pasta to the sauce and toss gently. Remove from the heat add drizzle with a little olive oil.


  • 150 g baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 3 sprigs basil
  • 80 g Parmigiano Reggiano
  • extra virgin olive oil

Divide the pasta into 4 bowls and garnish with tomatoes and basil. At the table, shave the cheese over the pasta. Buon appetito!

 Il Caminetto’s Wine Director Leagh Barkley offers both Italian and BC wine pairings of Feudo Maccari “Nere” Nero d’Avola 2017 and Stag’s Hollow “Renaissance” Pinot Noir 2017. “These wines match the dish with bright acidity and ripe, fruity aromas. Both are smooth on the palate and beautifully aromatic.”