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Creamy Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta is tangy, herby, and coated in a quick and simple garlicky pasta sauce for maximum fresh flavor. Minimal ingredients and prep required. Vegan, Gluten-Free option.
This Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta is always a big hit at our house during peak tomato season. Burst cherry tomatoes, lots of garlic, and a flavorful spoonful of basil gremolata all tossed together in dreamy linguine pasta. Trust me – it’s going to quickly become your favorite way to use up sweet tomatoes overflowing in the garden.
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All About this Italian Pasta Dish
This simple, yet delicious combination of hot al dente pasta, roasted sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, lemon zest, and lots of garlicky goodness is a winning recipe any day or night of the week. It’s one of those recipes that looks and tastes like it’s fresh out of your local hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant, yet is SUPER EASY to make.
Save this easy burst cherry tomato pasta for your next at-home date night or for weeknights when you’ve only got 10 minutes to prep dinner. Pour yourself a glass of white wine to sip on while you cook – It’s the recipe for a perfect hot summer night.
What You Need for Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta
We’re going back to the basics today and using just 7 ingredients, plus salt and pepper to make a fresh pasta dish complete with homemade gremolata. Here’s the rundown:
- Cherry tomatoes: Oven-roasting the ripe cherry tomatoes takes things to the next level – it really deepens their flavor, plus removes the excess moisture, preventing the pasta from getting “soggy.” If you love the flavor of sun-dried tomatoes in my Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta and Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, this easy pasta dish will be right up your alley.
- Pasta: Creamy, al dente pasta soaks up the garlicky sauce and weaves the roasted tomatoes in every bite.
- The sauce: A simple combination of extra virgin olive oil, lots of garlic, and optional dairy-free parmesan cheese.
- The gremolata: If you’ve never heard of gremolata, don’t worry. It’s a simple Italian classic traditionally made from chopped parsley, lemon zest, and fresh garlic cloves. We’re giving ours a twist today by using fresh basil instead of parsley.
How to Make Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta
- Spread the cherry tomatoes on a large baking sheet, then season with Italian seasoning, kosher salt, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss well to combine and roast for 30 minutes on the top oven rack.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water before draining and set aside.
- Next, sauté the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden. Add in 1/2 cup of the pasta water and the dairy-free parmesan cheese, if using and bring to a simmer.
- Add in the cooked pasta and the roasted tomatoes. Mix to combine, adding additional pasta water and salt and black pepper to taste.
- Lastly, toss the gremolata ingredients together and mix half into the warm cherry tomato pasta.
- Serve the pasta with cherry tomatoes immediately while warm and top with the remaining gremolata. Enjoy!
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Don’t rinse the pasta! Doing so will remove the starchy surface layer that is essential to helping the flavorful sauce cling to the noodles. If you rinse the pasta, the sauce won’t stick and instead will pool in the bottom of the large skillet.
- Stir the garlic constantly. If left unattended, the minced garlic will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Once the garlic hits the warm oil, stir constantly until golden brown. Don’t be afraid to lower the heat if it appears to be browning too quickly.
Pasta is always best served fresh when the noodles are perfectly chewy and the simple sauce has juuust the right amount of thickness. This pasta with cherry tomatoes is no different. It’s a great quick and simple meal on its own, but would also be delicious with a simple salad, or a crusty slice of buttery garlic bread.
If you’re looking for more easy weeknight pasta recipes to enjoy in the summer months, you’ll also love this Creamy Zucchini Alfredo, this Vegan One-Pot Pasta Primavera and this Easy One-Pot Pasta with a flavorful tomato sauce!
How to Store Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta
Cool leftover pasta to room temperature before covering and storing in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. Freezing is not recommended – if you are looking for freezer friendly pasta dishes, I’d recommend freezing homemade sauces and cooking the pasta fresh right before serving. Romesco Sauce, Pumpkin Vodka Sauce and Lentil Bolognese are great options.
Reheat leftover cherry tomato pasta covered on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through. Add an additional splash of water as needed to achieve your desired consistency. To revive the fresh flavors of the basil gremolata, you can also sprinkle your leftovers with additional chopped fresh basil leaves.
Substitutions and Variations
- Gluten-free option: Use your favorite gluten-free pasta. Brown rice or corn varieties are best.
- Add a spicy kick: For a bit of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes in with the garlic as well as a final pinch as a garnish.
- Pasta options: Any pasta shape will work, but I recommend long pasta varieties such as angel hair pasta, linguine, or classic spaghetti. These thinner strands are best suited for the light oil-based, garlicky sauce.
- Add creaminess: I love the simplicity of the simple cherry tomato pasta sauce paired with the basil gremolata, but if you’re craving a bit of creaminess, add a dollop of ricotta to taste.
- Toss in some greens: Spinach, arugula, or even chopped kale would make a great addition.
- Add protein: If you’re looking to add additional heartiness to the pasta, toss in a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas, Vegan Meatballs or store-bought grilled “chicken” from brands such as Daring Food Chicken.
In short, yes. While these tomatoes can be used interchangeably in home cooking, they are technically two separate varieties of tomato. Cherry tomatoes are often larger and more round in shape. Grape tomatoes are more elongated (like grapes) and typically sweeter. Feel free to use grape tomatoes here if you have them.
Fresh cherry tomatoes can be frozen whole, but it’s important to note that the texture once thawed will be very different. I’d only recommend freezing whole tomatoes if you plan to use them in cooked recipes where the texture isn’t important (i.e. Tomato Soup).
When stored properly at room temperature, fresh tomatoes can last for a couple of weeks on the kitchen counter. For best results, periodically check the tomatoes for spoilage. Remove any tomatoes that are showing signs of spoilage – this will prevent the remaining tomatoes from being affected.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta with Gremolata
For the Roasted Tomatoes:
- 2 dry pints cherry tomatoes* cut in half (21 oz/595 g)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
For the Pasta:
- 8 ounces dry pasta (I prefer longer shapes)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- ½ cup grated dairy-free parmesan optional
For the Basil Gremolata:
- 1 cup loosely packed basil
- Zest of 1 small lemon 1/2–1 teaspoon
- 1 small clove of garlic finely grated
- Salt to taste
- Roast the Tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 400F. Add the sliced tomatoes to the baking sheet and sprinkle the Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper on top. Drizzle generously with olive oil on top and toss well.Roast on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes.
- Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Save 1 cup (235 ml) of the pasta water before draining and setting aside. Drain the pasta, but do not rinse it.
- Make the Sauce: Warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until it starts to turn golden. Then add in 1/2 cup (118 ml) of the pasta water and the parmesan (if using) and stir. Once the mixture begins to simmer, add in the pasta and the roasted tomatoes. Mix until everything is evenly tossed; if the sauce is too thick for your liking, add in additional pasta water to taste. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Gremolata: Toss the basil with the lemon zest, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl to quickly form the gremolata. Mix half of the gremolata into the warm pasta and save the remainder for topping.
- Serve: Divide the pasta into serving bowls, then top with the remaining gremolata and serve warm. This dish is best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free pasta to make this recipe gluten-free
- Tomatoes: I like to use cherry tomatoes for this recipe, but you could also use grape tomatoes or cut up larger tomatoes into 1” pieces before roasting.