Pesto pasta with tomatoes is the perfect light end-of-summer dish. It comes together in less than 30 minutes and is a total crowd-pleaser.
Got basil? Make pesto!
You guys, the basil is popping right now at the farmer’s market. Lately I’ve been buying a huge bag every weekend and using it to make the most beautiful bright green pastas.
If you’ve never made homemade pesto before, you’ll be baffled by how simple it is and ask yourself why it’s taken so long to try. The ingredients are also basic and easy to find.
For this recipe we’re whipping up a batch of my homemade spinach almond pesto, tossing it with bowtie pasta and topping it with sweet, luscious, unadulterated tomatoes. Does it get any better?
- tomatoes, use cherry or grape tomatoes
- pesto – homemade or store-bought to save time
- pasta. I like the bowtie shape here, but any “short” pasta will work. For something a little bit more unique I love browsing Delallo! (not sponsored, just love them)
Make the Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
Let’s talk about how easy it is to elevate your tomatoes. Spread them out on a sheet pan, toss with olive oil, season with salt, and let them work magic in the oven. This simple hands-off step will make even the self-proclaimed tomato-haters a fan.
It’s always nice when you can work on the next step of a recipe while something cooks away in the oven so in the meantime, you’ll get the pasta going. Pro tip: cook until just al dente since you’ll be tossing it with hot pasta water and it will continue to cook.
How to Reserve Pasta Water
Did someone say “pasta water”? The trick to making a great pesto pasta is to reserve some of the starchy cooking liquid so when you toss everything together, the pesto really “sticks” to the pasta (instead of the pot).
I like to put a liquid measuring cup under my colander in the sink right away so I don’t forget and accidentally dump it all down the drain. This also makes it so easy to pour.
Tossing it All Together
Once you have all of the separate components ready, it’s time to toss.
Add the pasta back to your cooking vessel (or a large bowl) along with the pesto. Then pour in a generous amount of pasta water (about 1/4 cup to start) and use tongs to start tossing.
It will seem like too much liquid at first, but as everything heats up it will set perfectly. Add more water to reach your desired consistency. It shouldn’t be dry and there should be a lot of pesto on each noodle.
This dinner always feels fancy, especially when you pair it with a nice glass of wine. No one needs to know how simple it really is. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.
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Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes
Pesto pasta with tomatoes is the perfect light end-of-summer dish. It comes together in less than 30 minutes and is a total crowd-pleaser!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces bowtie pasta
- 1/2 cup spinach almond pesto (or any pre-made pesto)
- for serving: parmesan cheese & red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Toss tomatoes in olive oil on a small sheet pan and season with salt. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until slightly blistered.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta per package directions, reserving some pasta water when you strain it.
- Add hot pasta back to the pot you cooked it in (or a large bowl) and add pesto and a generous splash of pasta water. Toss well to coat, adding more of the pasta water as needed to get your preferred consistency.
- To serve: portion pasta into bowls and top with tomatoes, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes for extra heat.
- The equipment section above includes affiliate links to things I use often in my kitchen and recommend.
- You can use any short pasta shape you like.
- Use jarred pesto if you don’t have time to make homemade.
- Calories: 368 calories
- Fat: 20 grams
- Carbohydrates: 36 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Protein: 12 grams
Keywords: quick, 10 ingredients or less, summer
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