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Bucatini Pomodoro (Vegan Pasta Recipe)

A fresh, bright tomato sauce combines with thick bucatini pasta in this vegan recipe for Bucatini Pomodoro.

Bucatini Pomodoro Recipe

One morning in college, I stood in my dorm room in the dark morning hours, buttoning my favorite interview suit, when my phone rang. I was heading to an interview for a government-funded agency that helped small businesses. The call was from a magazine — well known then and now — wanting to interview me for a summer internship.

The problem? I didn’t want a summer internship. I’d made up my mind about what I was doing that summer, and it didn’t involve an internship. What I was looking for — and applied for — was a fall internship.

Lacking the foresight or maturity to know that sometimes, you just leap and see what happens, I declined.

I hate cliches, but there is no more appropriate phrase for this than, “Hindsight is 20/20.” Saying no to the opportunity before even giving it a chance was one of those big, neon, flashing teaching moments. For me, it was the start of an important life lesson: opportunities like that don’t happen often. So when an opportunity arises, you change your plans. You refocus your efforts. You redirect yourself with your end goal in mind. I knew I wanted to be a journalist, so it was nothing short of foolish to not accept the interview and give it all I had.

I wish I could say that was the only time I made the wrong decision, but it wasn’t. In life, we get knocked down, get up and keep going. There are missteps, faulty starts and dead ends. All of that teaches something, and eventually, hopefully, you learn to say yes to opportunity, to make decisions with the bigger picture in mind and to appreciate all the opportunities that present themselves. I am so glad I learned to say yes.

Moving to Maine to take a dream job was one of those opportunities. It was scary and different and thrust me out of my comfort zone, out of the realm of plans I had. And I could have let all of that stand in the way, refusing to change course and shift plans. But I didn’t, because it was the right decision and every day, I am so happy I leaped. Moreover, I am so happy that the kids have settled into a happy life filled with friends and opportunity here too.

One thing I miss though is the mass of cooking I did before we moved. Back then, being a recipe developer was my primary job, so I spent hours upon hours cooking, testing recipes, setting up photos, creating scenes and taking photos. It was a creative endeavor that pushed at my limits, and I loved it. I especially loved how much creativity went into my kitchen endeavors.

Moving, and taking on a full time job, has made it harder to cook that much. Couple that with lighting challenges — winters in Maine feature particularly short days, and I prefer to shoot in natural light whenever possible — and I ultimately have developed fewer recipes, spent less time photographing and just don’t have as much time to get creative. It’s been a bit of an internal battle for me — I want to keep creating, exercising those photography muscles and presenting good food ideas here. But it has to fit within the context of my life.

I could keep stressing about this, or I could just leap ahead, accepting that a simpler, back to basics approach to cooking is really where I am right now. And that’s okay. I might not be creating recipes like Baked Loaded Nachos Wontons but what I am making is good and nourishing and easy and just right for busy families like ours.

Making Bucatini Pomodoro

This pasta recipe is a good example. It’s simple — a raw sauce of fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, parsley, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper is combined with thick bucatini pasta (you could use any long pasta shape though — this would be delightful with linguine too). And then you dig in. It’s simple, easy and oh-so-tasty.

And in case you’re looking for a vegan recipe, this one is totally vegan.

Thanks for sticking with Sarah’s Cucina Bella, and me, for all these years. It means a lot.

Bucatini Pomodoro
Yield: 8 servings

Bucatini Pomodoro

Bucatini Pomodoro
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 lb bucatini pasta
  • 3 medium ripe tomatoes, diced (about 2.5-3 inches in diameter)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare the bucatini according to package directions.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes, garlic, basil, parsley and balsamic vinegar. Toss together with the cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
  3. Enjoy.

Nutmeg Nanny

Monday 21st of March 2016

I feel like the winter days are crazy short here in NY I can only imagine in Maine! You've done a great job keeping up with the blog. I also feel like this dish is a winner! It has all those summertime flavor I love!

colleen kennedy

Saturday 19th of March 2016

Simple is often the most delicious to me. I think I would say yes to Maine as well...I haven' been (yet) however its the setting for many of the books I have read, and what I hear and see about it is so lovely. Plus I would love to eat my way through the coastline!

Renee - Kudos Kitchen

Friday 18th of March 2016

What a wonderfully written and heartfelt post. I think we can all take a page from your life-lesson book. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes our wishes and dreams come to us packaged a little differently than what we'd pictured. Your pasta is gorgeous. So fresh and simple. The best kind of pasta!

Angie | Big Bear's Wife

Friday 18th of March 2016

Sometimes making mistakes is the best way for us to learn. However it seems like Maine was a perfect choice, even if it's left less time for blog recipes. I know when we went through a few years a while back that were a little tough for us I didn't get to cook or blog as much and I missed it like crazy. Even though it's a simple meal, this pasta sounds pretty awesome to me!

Karyn @ Pint Sized Baker

Friday 18th of March 2016

Life is a challenge and you can't live it looking backwards, but you learned and moved forward and that's what matters. This is a great dinner for when I don't have time, or energy, to get in the kitchen and "cook". Love it!

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