This quick recipe is one of Chef V’s go-tos in the summer. Garden-fresh cherry tomatoes and basil make it the ultimate summer meal. If you don’t grow your own, cherry tomato basil pasta is still just as delicious with in-season tomatoes and basil from the store!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for Making Cherry Tomato Pasta
Chef V cuts the tomatoes in half for her young kids, but you can also leave them whole, and they will burst as they cook.
Any pasta works for this recipe, but we recommend choosing thicker varieties versus something thin like angel hair. If you want added fiber and nutrition, choose a whole grain or bean-based variety.
Generously salt the cooking water for the best flavor; this allows the salt to go inside the pasta while cooking. Don’t be scared of the large amount – not all of the sodium is absorbed by the pasta. In fact, an experiment conducted by Cook’s Illustrated found that only ¼ teaspoon is absorbed per serving!
Be sure to cook the pasta al dente. Al dente translates to “to the tooth”, meaning the pasta should still have a bite; it should not be mushy.
For most of our recipes, we recommend the 3 F’s: fire, fat, food. Heat the pan, then the oil, and lastly the food. This recipe is an exception! When warming the garlic in the extra virgin olive oil, we are essentially making an infused oil, so it’s okay to heat it all at once.
For this recipe, we don’t recommend any substitutions for the extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, or fresh basil. They are the essence of the recipe!
The below ingredient substitutions are acceptable:
- Pasta: use any variety, but stick to thicker cuts vs. thin like angel hair. Whole grain varieties will provide the best nutrition.
- Cherry Tomatoes: any color or variety will work, including grape tomatoes.
- Parmesan: substitute Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, or Asiago.
Cherry Tomato Basil Pasta Variations
Add more herbs, spices, veggies, or drizzle some balsamic on top.
As always, we encourage you to make every recipe to YOUR taste!
We love getting our oil and vinegar from Enzo’s Table. Click on the picture below to try out dozens of different oils, vinegars, and more!
Use these kitchen tools for recipe success!
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- Cutting Board
- Chef’s Knife
- Measuring Spoons
- Dry Measuring Cups
- Grater or Microplane
Health Benefits of Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, and Basil
Many people choose to avoid pasta due to its high carbohydrate content. However, when eaten in appropriate serving sizes and mixed with nutrient dense sauces or vegetables, it makes for a healthy main dish or side!
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a phytochemical that helps protect against heart disease and prostate cancer. (1, 2) Canned and/or cooked tomatoes are higher in lycopene than their fresh counterparts. (3)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols which may reduce inflammation. Additionally, certain nutrients require fat for absorption; using extra virgin olive oil in pesto can boost the nutritional quality of a dish. (4, 5)
Leafy green herbs are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that promote health and help fight diseases.
Serve cherry tomato basil pasta with a side salad made with a homemade vinaigrette and/or a side of roasted vegetables.
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Pasta
Cool pasta completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To reheat, transfer to a microwave-safe dish and heat through in the microwave. If pasta looks too dry, drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Leftover cherry tomato basil pasta also tastes great cold!
Looking for more recipes with cherry tomatoes?
Try out these tried and true recipes!
Cherry Tomato Pizza Margherita
Warm Farro Salad with Spring Veggies
Cherry Tomato Basil Pasta
- 8 ounces pasta
- ½ Tablespoon salt (for cooking water)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil + extra for garnishing
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chiffonade or torn
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a roaring boil in a large saucepan. Once boiling, add ½ Tablespoon salt. When water returns to a boil, add pasta, stir and cook al dente according to package directions. Stir occasionally while cooking.
- While pasta is cooking, warm extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic cloves in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat for ~3 minutes.
- Once garlic is fragrant, add tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer tomatoes for ~10 minutes, then turn off heat.
- Once pasta is done, drain, and add to the pan with tomatoes. Toss gently to mix. Transfer to a serving bowl or leave in the pan and sprinkle with basil and shredded parmesan. Drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!