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A skillet filled with Tomato Basil Pasta

Tomato Basil Pasta

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5 from 5 reviews


You’ll love this deliciously simple Tomato Basil Pasta that’s packed with juicy cherry tomatoes, aromatic fresh basil, and a touch of tangy parmesan. Easy dinner recipe!




  • Salt
  • ½ lb pasta (penne, cavatappi, choose your fave)

Tomato Basil Sauce

  • 23 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (skip if sensitive to heat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/3 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper)
  • 1 ½ cups fresh basil, chopped, and more for topping
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, or to taste, more for topping


  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add in a big pinch of salt. Add in pasta. Cook until nearly tender, but still firm (al dente). Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the tomato basil sauce. Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, being careful not to burn, about 1 minute.
  3. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally and cooking until softened and tomatoes burst, about 4-5 minutes. Using a fork, mash about 2/3 of the tomatoes to release juices and create a chunky sauce. I like to keep 1/3 intact because it’s delicious & pretty.
  4. Add drained pasta, 1 cup fresh basil, and 1/3 cup parmesan cheese. If needed, add reserved pasta water to thin out sauce to preference. Turn off the heat and stir to combine.
  5. Taste and adjust as needed by adding salt and pepper.
  6. Serve in pasta bowls with roasted garlic bread. Top with parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh basil.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Dishes, Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian