Some people call it pantry pasta – you know, when you open up the pantry and decide what to make with the leftover ingredients? This is my take on pantry pasta because I always have these ingredients ready to go. It’s my weeknight speciality: cherry tomato and basil pasta.
Cherry tomato and basil pasta
If you’ve been around here for a while, you will know all about my love affair with tomatoes. From baking them to enjoying them fresh, from heirlooms to roma tomatoes, I really love the versatility, sweetness and tartness of a tomato. That’s why this pasta is one of my favourites because it’s simple yet really packed full of flavour.
Basil, or any soft herbs
I love using basil for this dish. It is so aromatic and distinct in its flavour. However, if you don’t have any basil handy, this dish can be made with several other soft herbs: flat leaf parsley, tarragon or rosemary. This is why this dish is so great – it’s just so versatile. It’s about using what you’ve got.
There is no pasta that’s wrong pasta
For this particular recipe, I have suggested angel hair pasta. The shape allows the sauce to really be the hero. But, if you don’t have angel hair, you can do a shorter penne or any other shape. As it’s not a particularly thick sauce, the thicker pastas won’t be my top pick, but it’s a completely unfussy recipe that you can do whatever you please with. Whatever you’ve got on hand!
I remember back in the day when Jamie Oliver started to really push the idea of healthy and delicious 30-minute meals. Now, 30-minute meals are essential to families that have young kids or are working late. I may love my weekends for long cooks, but I like my weeknights to be quick and easy but also healthy and fresh – that’s why I love this. You’ll be in and out of the kitchen in under 15 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use different ingredients in cherry tomato and basil pasta?
Yes! This is such a flexible recipe. You can definitely do a fridge clear out, from throwing in some bacon or leftover chicken through to adding in more vegetables like zucchini, capsicum or eggplant. Cherry tomato and basil pasta is the base for other ingredients.
Can I use tinned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes?
While you can, this will leave you with an entirely different sauce. If you would like to use tinned tomatoes, I suggest following tomato and basil sauce recipe here.
If you have any questions or would like to leave a review, please do so here! I always love answering your food and recipe related questions and hearing your feedback on my recipes.
Cherry tomato and basil pasta
- 3 tbsp olive oil + extra to serve
- 400 g cherry tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes optional
- salt and pepper
- 50 g pecorino romano grated + serving
- 250 g angel hair pasta
- In a large deep dish frypan on a medium heat, bring the olive oil to heat. Add the cherry tomatoes to the frypan and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and generous amount of salt to the frypan and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Break down the tomatoes with the back of the spoon to release their juices. Add half of the fresh basil leaves and continue to cook the sauce until the tomatoes are jammy.
- While the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil. Follow the instructions on the back of the pasta packet for al dente pasta and drain your pasta 1 - 2 minutes before the suggested cooking time. Reserve up to 1/2 cup of pasta water.
- On a low heat, toss the pasta through the sauce while slowly incorporating the pasta water and pecorino romano until you have a silky and glossy sauce. You may not need all the pasta water so do this step slowly.
- Serve immediately with the remaining fresh basil, grated pecorino romano and an extra drizzle of olive oil.