This Cherry Tomato Pasta is the very best way I can think of to use the sweet summer cherry or grape tomatoes that are sure to be showing up in your CSA boxes any day now.
I’m a carb queen for sure, and my strongest carb love language is surely pasta. I could eat it every day and never tire of it. One of the best things about it is that it’s endlessly adaptable, and my favorite adaptation of the current moment is this Cherry Tomato Pasta. It’s incredibly simple to make but bursting with flavor which is maybe the best combination when it comes to dinner.
The way I make this is vegetarian, but the recipe could easily be made vegan with a few simple swaps. Made with simple ingredients, it takes about 15-20 minutes from start to finish, so it’s a perfect weeknight dinner rotation recipe. This is a pasta dish that somehow manages to be incredibly light in flavor, which is my favorite kind!
Ingredients Needed for Cherry Tomato Pasta
Pasta: Cavatappi is a favorite, but any short pasta will do nicely here.
Tomatoes: cherry tomatoes are my favorite, but grape tomatoes will work just as well, and in a pinch, you could dice up some hothouse or Roma tomatoes and make this with that instead.
Shallot: the mildness of shallot works really well, but you could use a sweet yellow onion in a pinch.
Garlic: it just makes everything better.
Butter and Oil: the base of the sauce. As per usual, always try to get the very best you can reasonably afford.
Herbs: I used fresh thyme and oregano because I happen to have it on hand during the summer, but you could use dried herbs as well, or just skip the herbs altogether. If you use dried herbs remember that you don’t need nearly as much as you would if they were fresh.
How to Make Cherry Tomato Pasta
Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the past and set aside. You don’t need to reserve any pasta water for this dish. While the pasta cooks, cut half of your tomatoes in half.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter together (just oil if you wanted to go Vegan with this) and add the shallots. Cook for 3-5 minutes until shallots are soft and translucent, then add the tomatoes that have not been cut in half to the skillet, and cook for 5 minutes or so until tomatoes have started to turn brown and burst.
Once that happens, add the cooked pasta, chopped garlic, halved tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the halved tomatoes have started to soften. In the last minute, add a half tablespoon of butter to finish the sauce. Again, you can use oil here if you’re trying to keep it vegan.
Garnish with fresh herbs. You can also garnish with parmesan if you’d like.
Cherry Tomato Pasta
- 6 ounces of Cavatappi or other short pasta
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, diced fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced fine
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced fine
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta about one minute short of package directions. Set aside when finished cooking.
- In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium heat until butter starts to foam. Add the diced shallot and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until shallot softens and turns translucent.
- Add the whole cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tomatoes start to brown and burst. When that happens, add the cooked pasta, chopped garlic, the halved tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and toss to coat.
- Let the pasta cook through for another 2-3 minutes. During the last minute of cooking, add the ½ tablespoon of butter to finish off the sauce. Garnish with fresh herbs, and parmesan if using.