Make Your Own 'Family Meal' Spaghetti Pomodoro From ‘The Bear’

Nothing whets the appetite quite like a really good food show and in that respect Hulu’s ‘The Bear’ checks all the boxes. It follows the life of a dysfunctional young chef, Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto(Jeremy Allen White), as he’s taking over his family restaurant and while the plot will leave you with its own dose of existential crisis, the food scenes will more than make up for the emotional trauma the show inflicts.

There are dozens of amazing dishes on display that showcase both the Italian-American heritage of the characters as well as the hearty, stick-to-your-bones food culture of Chicago where the show is set. Beautiful risottos, oozing beefsteak sandwiches, and classic Chicago-style hotdogs, each food scene leaves you drooling and wishing for one more look.

But the dish that really took centre stage was the ‘secret’ Spaghetti Pomodoro recipe which Carmy serves for the staff meal at the restaurant. The spaghetti plays a huge part in the plot (no spoilers!) but what really caught everyone’s eye was a flash of the very basic recipe card he was reading from.

Every food enthusiast and wannabe chef across the world paused as one and wrote down the recipe, but deciphering the actual process and additional ingredients based on the visual cues can be tricky. So we made some guesses and adjustments and here is the recipe in full for you to try your hand at this divine-looking dish. Now for most of us, San Marzano tomatoes aren’t a store cupboard ingredient, so any canned tomatoes will have to do (crushed or whole, not pureed!). As for the rest, we’ve eyeballed the measurements, so feel free to adjust things according to your taste. Or don’t. Carmy wouldn’t care.

Please note: This recipe is designed to serve 6 (or more), so you might need to scale down accordingly.

Image Credit: Hulu


  • 336 gms spaghetti (56 gm per person)
  • 2 cans San Marzano Tomatoes (the recipe calls for 58 oz. or 1.5 kgs)
  • 10 garlic cloves (whole peeled)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 100 gms butter 
  • A handful of fresh basil (leaves and stems)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Start by putting a large pot of generously salted water on to boil. When it reaches a rolling boil, add your spaghetti and cook for 10-15 minutes until al dente. Retain some paste water here.
  • Next, infuse your olive oil with basil and garlic. Add everything to a small saucepan, bring it up to a boil and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes before taking it off the heat.
  • Halve the onion and place the halves cut side down in a pan with the butter and some oil. Let it sit undisturbed until the edges are golden brown.
  • Next, add in your tomatoes, salt to taste and bring to a boil before turning down to low heat and simmering for 20-25 minutes.
  • The final step is up for debate - some people choose to puree the oil, garlic and herb mix for intensified flavours and minimal waste while others are following the show and straining out the solid elements to preserve only the infused oil. You can choose to do either but ensure the mixture is cool first if you do choose to blend it up.
  • Add the oil puree/infused oil to the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes. If it’s too thick, add some pasta water, a spoon at a time.
  • Remove the onion pieces, stir and serve on top of your spaghetti!