I love making burst cherry tomato pasta with cherry tomatoes when summer rolls around! I especially love the fact that you can release all the flavors from the cherry tomatoes without having to turn on the oven. This recipe makes for a quick satisfying weeknight dinner that tastes just like summer!
A big bowl of pasta with sweet jammy cherry tomatoes, slick extra-virgin olive oil, fragrant basil and sautéed garlic is always a good choice! This easy meal looks just as pretty as it is tasty, and it can be on the table in 50 min tops. All the more reason to ditch store-bought tomato sauces and make your own for this burst cherry tomato pasta recipe.
USE WHATEVER IS IN YOUR CUPBOARD
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always cook seasonally, especially if I start craving something. I often make this recipe in winter with good-quality canned tomatoes and frozen chopped basil. Whether you use ripe cherry tomatoes or canned ones, I recommend drizzling a little bit of extra olive oil on your burst cherry tomato pasta once served for some extra oomph.
The deeply savory capers and anchovies really tie this dish together thanks to the balance they bring. But if you don’t like them you can omit them, simply add a little bit more salt to the sauce. Taste the burst cherry tomato pasta before serving and add a bit more salt again if needed.
I’ve used both short and long pasta cuts for this recipe and they all work great. So you can use your favorite pasta or whatever you have in your cupboard to make burst cherry tomato pasta. The key is to only cook the pasta until al dente because of the carryover heat. They will keep on cooking a bit while being mixed with the sauce in the hot frying pan. If you like firm pasta that still has a bite, cook the pasta for 1 min less than the required cooking time specified on the packet for al dente results.
HOW TO MAKE IT
Burst cherry tomato pasta is all about the sauce and you won’t find a simpler sauce to make.
- First, sauté minced garlic cloves in olive oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
- Add the anchovies and mash them with a wooden spoon.
- Spread tomato paste and keep cooking for 2 min.
- Add all the other ingredients to the sauce and simmer the sauce covered for 20 min.
- Meanwhile, cook your preferred pasta following the packet instructions. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water.
- Then toss the drained pasta into the frying pan with the sauce, stir well, and add more seasoning if needed. Loosen the sauce with some of the reserved water if it’s too thick. You’re done! Divide the burst cherry tomato pasta between plates and serve with a drizzle of olive oil over the top and sprinkled with chopped basil.
SALT THE PASTA WATER WELL
Adding 1 tbsp of salt to the water is necessary because:
- While cooking, pasta always releases starch into the water. This starch is one of the main reasons why you should always reserve some of the cooking water before draining your pasta. It will help bind the sauce together and make it coat the pasta better.
- No liquid is added to this sauce because the cherry tomatoes release their juices while cooking. So pasta water also works great to thin down the burst cherry tomato pasta sauce if it ends up too thick after having simmered.
- The salt in the cooking water also brings flavor to the burst cherry tomato pasta sauce.
On occasion when I’m really hungry and I want a more substantial meal, I will make tuna and tomato pasta using this recipe. Simply drain a big can of tuna and add the content of a big (drained) can of tuna packed in olive oil when you add the cherry tomatoes and capers to the frying pan.
You can also use this recipe as a base for cherry tomato sauce. For a “regular” cherry tomatoes sauce omit the capers & anchovies and sprinkle 50g (½ cup) of freshly grated parmesan over the top of the burst cherry tomato pasta once served.
In the mood for another pasta dish? Here are some of my favorite recipes:Print
A big bowl of pasta with sweet jammy cherry tomatoes, slick extra-virgin olive oil, fragrant basil and sautéed garlic makes for a quick satisfying weeknight dinner that tastes just like summer! This easy meal looks just as pretty as it is tasty, and it can be on your table in 50 min.
- ½ bunch of basil (about 30 leaves)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 anchovy fillets, drained from the olive-oil packed jar (omit if you don’t like anchovies)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp fine table salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of red chili flakes
- 350g cherry tomatoes (¾ pound)
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- 255g dried pasta (9 oz)
- Make the sauce. Pick the basil leaves off the stems. Gather the leaves into a mound, chop them and set them aside. Peel the garlic cloves and mince them. Heat the olive oil in a deep non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When hot, sauté the garlic until fragrant and just beginning to brown, about 2 to 3 min. Add the anchovies and continue cooking for 2 min while mashing up the fillets with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the tomato paste and spread it all over the garlic and anchovies using the back of the spoon. Cook for 2 min. Season with the salt, black pepper and chilli flakes. Add the cherry tomatoes, capers and stir well. Cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 min or until the tomatoes have burst. Add a little water if the sauce thickens too much.
- Cook the pasta. While the sauce is cooking, fill a large pot with water and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tbsp of salt to the pot and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until al dente. Reserve half a cup of starchy cooking water by dipping a heatproof cup into the boiling water (be careful with your hand). Then drain the pasta.
- Combine. Toss the pasta in the frying pan with the sauce. Mix well. If the sauce is too thick and doesn’t coat the pasta properly you can loosen it with a splash of reserved cooking water. Toss until well incorporated and check the consistency again. Add a splash more if needed. Taste and season accordingly. Divide between plates or bowls, drizzle lightly with olive oil if desired and sprinkle over the chopped basil.
You can make the sauce in advance and keep it stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it covered over low heat until warm enough to toss in the pasta.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 699
Keywords: summer pasta dish, summer cherry tomato recipes, fresh cherry tomato sauce, burst tomatoes