Quick and Flavorful Cherry Tomato Pasta

quick and flavorful cherry tomato pasta

This quick and flavorful cherry tomato pasta is the height of simple summer cooking. It requires little time and few ingredients, leaving you free to live your summer life without having to worry about making a complicated dinner. Take a moment to appreciate the texture of those burst cherry tomatoes — you can almost taste them through the page! The addition of fresh basil and Parmigiano creates a deeply flavorful dish in next to no time. Make this quick and flavorful cherry tomato pasta while you can still find cherry tomatoes at the farmer’s market!

cherry tomatoes with parsley and basil

How to make this quick sauce

There aren’t many secrets behind making this dish. First, rinse your cherry tomatoes and toss them whole into hot extra virgin olive oil that’s been flavored with minced garlic. Next, allow the cherry tomatoes to cook in a covered pan until they burst into a beautiful rainbow of saucy reds, yellows, and oranges. Then, add a handful of torn basil leaves and some parsley if you have it. Mix it all together with your pasta of choice and top with parmigiano (a key step!), and there you have it! Quick and flavorful cherry tomato pasta in under 30 minutes.

burst cherry tomatoes in pan
burst cherry tomatoes in pan with basil

How to amp up the sauce

If you want to add even more flavor or interest to the sauce, here are a few things you could consider:

  • Add a pinch of red pepper flake if you like additional heat. I would start with 1/4 tsp and work your way up from there.
  • Add dried oregano if that’s your thing.
  • Pulse in a blender or use an immersion blender if you want a more saucy consistency. (If you go the immersion blender route, you’ll probably need to use a higher-walled sauté pan than what I’ve shown above.)
  • For the best results please see my rant tips on olive oil and cheese, and how to buy.

What to serve with this quick and flavorful cherry tomato pasta

Serve this pasta with a simple side salad. Try my no-frills side salad with white wine vinaigrette, which you can prepare while your sauce cooks.


Quick and Flavorful Cherry Tomato Pasta

This pasta comes together in less than 30 minutes, using fresh ingredients that don’t need much to shine. Serve it with a simple side salad for an easy but impressive dinner!

  • Author: A Tavola Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 to 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 8 oz pasta of choice
  • Parmigiano for topping
  • Parsley for garnishing, if desired


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Be sure to generously salt your pasta water, and reserve at least 1 cup for use later on.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over a medium flame. Once oil is hot, add garlic.

3. Once garlic is fragrant, add cherry tomatoes and stir to coat.

4. Cover pan and cook until tomatoes begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir every few minutes to ensure even cooking. If oil is too hot and splattering when you stir, lower your flame.

5. Uncover pan and use the back of a wooden spoon to mash the cherry tomatoes. They should burst easily, if they haven’t already done so on their own.

6. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir in your torn basil leaves.

7. If your pasta is ready, strain and transfer to the pan, with the flame on medium-high. (If your pasta isn’t ready yet, lower the flame and just keep your sauce warm until it is.)

8. Toss to coat. While tossing or stirring, add a little bit of reserved pasta water at a time until the tomato juices become glossy and coat the pasta evenly. I recommend using about 1/4 cup at a time.

9. Divide among bowls and spoon any remaining juices from the bottom of the pan over the top of the pasta for added effect and flavor. Top with parsley, if using, and freshly grated Parmigiano.


  • Don’t forget to reserve at least a cup of pasta water — you’ll need this in step 8! You probably won’t need it all, but it’s better to have extra just in case.
  • Use Parmigiano-Reggiano, as opposed to any ol’ parmesan, for the best results.


  • Calories: 479
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Sodium: 292 mg
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 70 g
  • Fiber: 6.4 g
  • Protein: 14.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 3.6 mg
CategoriesDinner Vegetarian

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