This cherry tomato pasta is my ideal summer dinner. Filled with bursty tomatoes, garlic, and basil, it's fresh, flavorful, and super easy to make!
Making this cherry tomato pasta recipe is like giving yourself a gift. It’s incredibly simple, so you don’t need a lot of time or energy to do it, and the flavor is just so good. Sweet, tangy, fresh…this cherry tomato pasta is what summer cooking is all about.
Cherry Tomato Pasta Recipe Ingredients
Like any good summer recipe, this cherry tomato pasta starts with peak-season produce. Here, that means lots and lots of cherry tomatoes. Use as many varieties as you can get your hands on. Any color or shape will work – the more, the merrier!
You’ll cook down half into a light, garlicky sauce. Then, you’ll add the rest in the final few minutes of cooking. That way, they’ll still be plump and bursty when you eat.
Here’s what else you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Pasta, of course! I love using bucatini here. The chewy, al dente noodles contrast perfectly with the juicy cherry tomatoes.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – For richness.
- Garlic – It infuses the pasta with nutty depth of flavor.
- Capers and balsamic vinegar – They give the pasta a tangy, briny kick.
- Lemon zest – It adds a nice brightness.
- Red pepper flakes – For heat.
- Fresh basil – Because tomatoes + basil are a match made in heaven! Its spicy, aromatic flavor is essential here.
- Pecorino cheese – It gives the pasta a rich, savory finish. If you’re vegan or dairy-free, feel free to skip it, or sprinkle your pasta with my vegan Parmesan cheese instead. Both options are delicious!
- And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Cherry Tomato Pasta Serving Suggestions
This cherry tomato pasta recipe is the perfect easy, elegant summer dinner. Serve it with crusty bread for mopping up the pasta sauce and a simple salad. Any of these recipes would be a great pick:
- Simple Green Salad
- Green Bean Salad
- Zucchini Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Or any of these 37 Best Salad Recipes!
More Summer Pasta Recipes
If you love this recipe, try another summer pasta dish next:
- Linguine with Lemon & Tomatoes
- Creamy Pasta Pomodoro
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta
- Best Vegetarian Lasagna
- Easy Pesto Pasta
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Or any of these 25 Easy Pasta Recipes!
Cherry Tomato Pasta
- 12 ounces bucatini pasta
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 pints cherry tomatoes, divided
- 2½ tablespoons capers
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups fresh basil
- ¼ cup pecorino, Parmesan, or Vegan Parmesan, optional
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions, or until al dente. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring, until soft and fragrant. Add half the tomatoes along with the capers, lemon zest, vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, and several grinds of pepper. Toss to coat. If the oil starts to sputter while cooking, turn the heat down as needed. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, until the tomatoes break down and release their juices.
- Add the remaining tomatoes, stir, and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until the second addition of tomatoes is just beginning to burst. Add the pasta and toss to combine. Cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the pasta is coated in the sauce and heated through.
- Stir in the basil and cheese, if using. Season to taste and serve.