Sweet cherry tomatoes are tossed with olive oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar before hitting the oven. This vibrant roasted cherry tomato pasta is quick, easy, and will quickly become a family favorite!
It’s Monday. Again. I seem to say this every week, but it seems like it’s always Monday! For many families it’s a big Monday since a lot of schools begin the new year today. Around here school actually started last week, but back where I grew up the first day is today.
Back-to-school always means busy, busy, busy! The first few weeks can be hectic trying to get into a routine, so it’s nice to have a few go-to meal options that are quick and easy. Enter today’s recipe!
Roasted cherry tomato pasta has been my go-to meal for YEARS. I actually can’t believe it has taken me this long to share it, but it’s just one of those things that I mindlessly make. It really never crossed my mind to share it on this blog until recently. A few weeks ago my in-laws were here for a visit and I made this pasta. They loved it and asked if I had it on the blog.
I knew right then that I had to share it with you guys!
Not only is this roasted cherry tomato pasta simple and quick, but you need minimal ingredients and dishes! That right there is what makes it such a great weeknight meal. This pasta dish was my go-to meal in college, so much so that I made it once a week. The leftovers are phenomenal hot or cold, so it’s also perfect for packing in your lunch!
I’ve had no shortage of cherry tomatoes in my garden and they are all over the farmer’s markets right now, too! If you can find sweet 100’s I HIGHLY recommend them! Sweetest cherry tomatoes EVER. If you can’t find them, just use whatever you find – cherry or grape tomatoes work wonderfully.
This delicious pasta starts out by mixing the tomatoes with some garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar before heading into the oven. Then, they roast just until they start to burst open. The balsamic vinegar sweetens up during the roasting process making the absolute perfect sauce for pasta!
While the tomatoes are roasting, you’ll boil up some pasta. You can use whatever pasta you like, but I do recommend using a long cut like spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine. I like the way the longer cuts soak up the sauce and make it easy to twirl in the tomatoes and cheese.
My favorite part of this dish is that you can toss the pasta directly into the roasting pan you used for the tomatoes, making cleanup minimal!
Now, let’s talk about the cheese. The whole reason this pasta came to be was the cheese. Back in college I went through an obsessive period with ricotta silata cheese. I bought a wedge every week and used it to top all kinds of pastas and salads.
Prior to this pasta, my go-to was a caprese-style dish made with mozzarella. I sauté tomatoes with garlic and then toss with pasta, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Well, one day I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to stand over the stove. I decided to roast the tomatoes and add balsamic vinegar to create more of a sauce. I didn’t have any mozzarella, but had my beloved ricotta silata, so that’s what I used. Boom. My new go-to dish was born.
The moral of that little story is, I really like this with the ricotta silata cheese, but I know that can be a hard one to find. I can’t find it anywhere around here, so I use cojita cheese or queso fresco. Those are pretty similar cheeses and give the same characteristic to this pasta dish. If you aren’t into crumbly cheeses, you can use cubed fresh mozzarella. Or, you could even just grate some fresh parmesan on top.
I do highly recommend going the crumbly cheese route, though!
Well there you have it! A simple, quick, and tasty pasta dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights. I recommend making it now while perfect tomatoes are everywhere! However, I will mention making this pasta in the winter with tart, or not so sweet tomatoes is very possible. All you have to do is add a few pinches of brown sugar to the mix before roasting. It may not be quite as good as it would be now, but it’s still fabulous!
Have a great week!
- 4 Cups Cherry Tomatoes
- 3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Light Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes, optional
- 1 12 oz. Box Gluten Free Spaghetti*
- 1 Cup Crumbled Ricotta Silata Cheese*
- ½ Cup Thinly Sliced Fresh Basil
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Place the cherry tomatoes in a 9×13 inch baking dish and top with garlic, balsamic, and olive oil. Season the mix with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Roast the cherry tomatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until they just start to burst.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add in the pasta. Give it a good stir to prevent sticking and cook the pasta 1 minute less than the package instructions. Reserve some pasta water before draining and rinsing the pasta. (Only rinse it if you’re using gluten-free!)*
Toss the pasta right in the pan with roasted cherry tomato sauce, adding pasta water if you need more moisture. Add in the cheese and basil while tossing.
Serve the pasta with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
*My favorite gluten-free spaghetti brand is Barilla. If you’re not gluten-free, simply use traditional pasta which is mostly available in 16oz. boxes vs. the 12oz. that most gluten free comes in. This recipe works just fine with a full pound – just add some extra pasta water if needed to make it saucier!
*Ricotta Silata cheese is a dry crumbly cheese that is pretty mild, but has a salty bite. If you can’t find it, you can use Queso Fresco or Cojita cheese, which I find to be extremely similar in taste and texture!
*I always rinse gluten-free pasta as it prevents it from being too sticky and starchy. Omit the rinsing if you’re using traditional pasta!