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Roasted tomato pasta with penne – Gorgeous blistered cherry tomatoes, fresh, earthy/sweet roasted garlic, olive oil, and thyme come together to create this delicious, healthy penne pasta dish. If you’re a fan of fresh, homemade tomato sauces, then you’re sure to love this blistered cherry tomato sauce. This is a quick and easy weeknight meal that the whole family will love.
There’s nothing quite like a delicious and easy pasta dish that the whole family can enjoy. This roasted cherry tomato penne pasta is just that – simple, tasty, and healthy. The cherry tomatoes add sweetness and tanginess to the sauce that is perfectly balanced with the fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Best of all, this dish only takes about 30 minutes to make!
why you’ll love this roasted cherry tomato pasta
- A refreshing take on red pasta sauce. Tomato sauce is arguably THE sauce for pasta, but sometimes it’s nice to change things up a bit. This roasted cherry tomato sauce is slightly sweet, tangy, and earthy – it’s the perfect alternative to your usual red pasta sauce.
- This dish is healthy AND delicious. This roasted cherry tomato penne pasta can be made with whole wheat pasta and packs in tons of nutrients from the tomatoes and fresh basil. And of course, it’s delicious!
- It’s an easy weeknight meal. This dish comes together quickly and easily, making it the perfect weeknight meal. Simply roast the cherry tomatoes and garlic while the pasta is cooking, then toss everything together with some fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Dinner is done!
- Even the pickiest of eaters will be pleased. If you have picky eaters in your family, this is the perfect dish to please them. No weird or unfamiliar ingredients here!
Ingredients to make roasted tomato pasta
- Cherry tomatoes: You’ll need about 2 pints if you’re feeding a family of 4. If you have a larger family, you’ll need an extra pint per every 2 people.
- Penne: I like to use penne because it’s easy to handle for little ones, but feel free to use any type of pasta you like.
- Fresh garlic: If you’ve never had roasted garlic before, you’re in for a treat! The garlic becomes sweet and fragrant when roasted. You can eat the whole clove or just use the roasted garlic to add flavor to the sauce.
- Olive oil: This will be used to roast the cherry tomatoes and garlic. It helps blister the tomatoes and also absorbs the flavor, making it a great addition to the sauce.
- Seasoning: A simple mixture of dried thyme, salt, and pepper is all you need to season this dish.
- Fresh basil: This is added at the end for a bright, fresh flavor.
How to make roasted tomato pasta
- Place the cherry tomatoes and garlic in an oven-safe baking dish. Pour the olive oil on top, and season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Toss until well combined.
- Roast in the preheated oven until the cherry tomatoes burst and become fragrant.
- When the tomatoes are cooked, transfer the cooked pasta to the baking dish along with ¼ of the reserved cooking liquid.
- Toss to combine.
Tips for making a blistered cherry tomato sauce in the oven
- Use ripe but not overripe cherry tomatoes. Ripe cherry tomatoes yield the best flavor for this sauce. If they’re overripe, they may turn to mush when roasted.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. You want there to be enough space between the tomatoes so that they have room to blister and char. If they’re too close together, they’ll steam instead of roast.
- Don’t forget the garlic! The roasted garlic really takes this sauce to the next level. It’s sweet and fragrant and pairs perfectly with the tomatoes.
- Cook the pasta until just al dente. You don’t want to overcook the pasta because it will continue to cook when you add it to the sauce.
- Add the pasta to the sauce while it’s still hot. This will help the pasta absorb all of the delicious flavors of the sauce.
popular substitutions & additions
- Toss in some greens. As soon as the tomatoes come out of the oven, toss the pasta along with greens like kale, spinach, or arugula into the baking dish. It bulks it up, adds a pop of color and more nutrients to the dish. I originally created this recipe with arugula.
- Serve with cheese. Parmesan cheese is the obvious winning combination here that adds a salty bite to this roasted tomato pasta. Use freshly shredded or grated parmesan cheese. I also love serving this with some crumbled feta cheese (the way I originally made the recipe) or goat cheese.
- Roast onions with the tomatoes. Slice a large onion into wedges, toss with olive oil and seasoning, then roast along with the tomatoes. This will add another layer of sweetness and depth of flavor to the sauce.
- Make it vegan/dairy-free. Omit the parmesan cheese or substitute it with your favorite vegan cheese. You could also use nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.
- Add some protein. This pasta is delicious as is, but if you’re looking to add some protein, there are a few options. You could add cooked chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
- Give it some kick. Red pepper flakes are an easy way to add a little heat to this dish. Add them at the end, to taste.
what to serve with tomato pasta
- Roasted Balsamic Chicken
- Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Feta
- Grilled Beef Kabobs
- Pecan Crusted Chicken
- Panko Crusted Sheet Pan Salmon
how to store & reheat roasted cherry tomato pasta
This pasta is best enjoyed fresh but will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container.
Reheat on the stove over low heat until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water or chicken broth to loosen the sauce.
how long will cherry tomato pasta last in the fridge?
This pasta will last in the fridge for up to four days. After that, the sauce will start to break down, and the pasta will become mushy.
Frequently asked questions
I don’t recommend using grape tomatoes because they are much smaller and will likely turn to mush when roasted. Cherry tomatoes are the perfect size for this dish.
Yes! Any type of pasta will work in this recipe. I like to use penne because it’s a short, sturdy pasta that holds up well to the sauce. But feel free to use whatever you have on hand.
No, you don’t have to roast the tomatoes. You could simply cook them on the stove over medium heat until they start to blister and burst. This will take about 15 minutes.
This roasted cherry tomato pasta is a delicious and easy weeknight dinner that the whole family will love. It’s simple to make and can be customized with your favorite ingredients. The best part is, it only takes 30 minutes from start to finish!
More pasta recipes:
- Spinach Pasta Salad
- Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes (similar but with skillet!)
- Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad
- Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Baked Feta Pasta
- Creamy Cashew Tomato Pasta
- Pasta Bolognese
- Arrabiata Pasta with Shrimp
- Pasta in Yogurt Sauce
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This Roasted Tomato Pasta recipe was originally published on March 23, 2017. The recipe has been modified to remove the arugula and feta cheese that are added after cooking in order to simplify the recipe and the ingredients. The post now includes new step-by-step photos for how to make the pasta.
Roasted Tomato Pasta
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the cherry tomatoes and garlic in an oven-safe baking dish. Pour the olive oil on top, and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Toss until well combined.
- Roast in the preheated oven until the cherry tomatoes burst and become fragrant, about 30 minutes.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the pasta in a pot of salted water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
- When the tomatoes are cooked, transfer the cooked pasta to the baking dish along with ¼ of the reserved cooking liquid and toss to combine. Add more cooking liquid if desired.
- Garnish with basil and serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.