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Easy Pesto Pasta With Oven Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

Looking for an easy dinner tonight that the whole family will love? This Pesto Pasta with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes recipe is a great way to satisfy everyone’s hunger quickly and deliciously too! With simple ingredients you can prepare an Italian meal that’s full of flavour.

A vertical image of a square white bowl of pesto pasta. Below are vines of cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, a pot of pesto and an empty roasting dish that was used for the tomatoes.

What Makes This Recipe Great!

  • Quick and Easy: This recipe is a lifesaver for busy evenings. It’s ready in no time, making it perfect for those nights when you need dinner on the table fast.
  • Made From Scratch: You can make your own pesto for an authentic flavour, or use store-bought pesto for ease.
  • Family Favourite: With its delightful blend of flavours and textures, this pasta is sure to become a beloved dish for the whole family. It’s a crowd-pleaser that brings everyone together around the dinner table.

About This Recipe – In More Detail

Indulge in the Italian flavours of this simple pasta dish using our own Homemade Basil Pesto Sauce. It’s a hearty main course that the whole family can enjoy. Al dente pasta, coated in vibrant green basil pesto, and generously adorned with oven-roasted cherry tomatoes. The burst of flavour from the fresh tomatoes compliments the nutty, cheesy richness of the parmesan cheese.

This easy pasta recipe is a lifesaver for busy evenings and mid-week meals, just like this Creamy Courgette Pasta and our Bacon and Tomato Pasta too. The basil pesto infuses each bite with that irresistible herbaceous, garlicky goodness. A sprinkle of parmesan cheese ties it all together, enhancing the creamy texture and lending a depth of flavour.

When it comes to the cherry tomatoes, roasting them elevates their sweetness and removes the overall acidity of their flavour which makes them more palatable. even for people who aren’t keen on eating tomatoes.

Also great for date night, why not pour yourself a glass of wine and prepare this tomato pesto pasta together. It’s the ideal dish when you don’t want lots of preparation or washing up. You can even roast the tomatoes in advance and store them in the fridge overnight until you’re ready to use them. Serve it up with a starter of Bruschetta Burrata for an extra special treat.

A front view of the pasta dish in a square serving dish with a spoon inside.

Equipment Needed

  • Oven-Proof Baking Dish: You’ll need a dish, preferably made of glass, ceramic, or stainless steel, to roast the cherry tomatoes in the oven. These materials are non-reactive and work best with acidic ingredients.
  • Large Saucepan: This is for boiling the pasta. Make sure it’s large enough to comfortably accommodate the pasta without overcrowding.
  • Colander or Strainer: To drain the cooked pasta efficiently.
  • Spoons: For stirring the cherry tomatoes while roasting and for mixing the pasta with pesto and roasted tomatoes.
  • Measuring Spoons: You’ll need these for accurate measurements of the olive oil, salt, pepper, and pesto.
  • Serving Dish: A lovely dish to present your final creation. It’s not a necessity, but it can add to the meal’s visual appeal.
  • Food Processor: ​You’ll need a food processor or blender if you are making your own pesto. 

Ingredients

A labelled photo of all the ingredients needed to make pesto pasta with roasted tomatoes.
  • Dried Pasta: The main ingredient, it forms the base of the dish. You can use any shape of pasta you like.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Roasted in the oven, they add a burst of sweet and tangy flavour.
  • Olive Oil: Used for roasting the cherry tomatoes and adding richness to the dish.
  • Pesto: Provides a delicious basil and nutty flavour to the pasta. If you wish, you can homemade pesto recipe.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Grated on top to give the dish a savoury, cheesy element. I recommend Parmigiano Reggiano for the best flavour.
  • Fresh Basil Leaves (optional): Used for garnish and an extra hint of fresh basil aroma.
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper: To season the tomatoes, pasta, and pesto for a balanced taste.

Substitutions and Additions

Substitutions:

  • Pesto: We are using homemade pesto sauce for this recipe, but you can buy a jar of pesto from the supermarket for speed and ease.
  • Cheese: You can use Grana Padano or some Pecorino in place of the Parmesan cheese. If you want this dish to be vegetarian, don’t forget to check that the choice of Parmesan (and Pesto) you use should be labelled vegetarian as Parmesan often contains animal rennet.
  • Oil: You can substitute the olive oil with sunflower or vegetable oil too.
  • Cherry Tomato Medley: Use a mix of colourful cherry tomatoes for a visually appealing dish, you can also use grape tomatoes or Roma tomatoes.

Additions:

  • Red Pepper Flakes: If you prefer a spicy kick, you can add red pepper flakes or use chili flakes for extra heat.
  • Fresh Mozzarella Pearls: You can add fresh Mozzarella Pearls to add a creamy, milky texture. Buffalo Mozzarella cheese works best.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: To add a tangy, slightly sweet element, drizzle a little balsamic glaze to the finished dish.
  • Lemon Juice: If you prefer a citrusy zing, you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the pasta for a refreshing twist.
  • Roasted Garlic: For an extra layer of flavour, include some roasted garlic cloves in the pasta or add it to the pesto.
  • Grilled Chicken: Turn this dish into a heartier meal by adding grilled chicken breasts cut into strips.
  • Toasted Pine Nuts: For a delightful crunch, sprinkle toasted pine nuts over the top.
  • Fresh Rocket (Arugula): Toss in fresh rocket leaves for a peppery flavour and vibrant green colour.

Step-By-Step Guide – How To Make Pesto Pasta With Roasted Tomatoes

Step 1: Prep the Oven and Tomatoes

  • Preheat the Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Prepare Tomatoes: Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes. Place tomatoes in an oven-proof dish in a single layer. Ensure the dish is non-reactive, such as glass, ceramic, or stainless steel, as tomatoes can be acidic.
  • Drizzle and Season: Drizzle the tomatoes with a little olive oil and stir to coat them evenly. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast Tomatoes: Place the dish of tomatoes in the preheated oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes. Roast until the tomatoes are tender and begin to blister, but monitor closely as roasting times may vary.
Two hands rubbing the oil onto the cherry tomatoes in a white dish.
The cherry tomatoes covered in oil and seasoned in a white rectangle dish, before going into the oven.

Step 2: Cook the Pasta and Combine Ingredients

  • Boil Water: While the tomatoes are roasting, heat a large pot of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Season the Water: Add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water, and then add the pasta.
  • Cook Pasta: Boil the pasta following the package instructions until it reaches al dente.
  • Drain and Toss: Drain the cooked pasta and immediately toss it with the pesto to ensure it’s evenly coated.
A hand preparing to pour the dried pasta into boiling water in a saucepan.
The cooked pasta in a silver colander.

Step 3: Bringing it Together

  • Add Roasted Tomatoes: Gently mix the roasted tomatoes into the pasta. If you roasted tomatoes on the vine, you can either remove them or leave a few on top for decoration.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle fresh basil leaves, grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of black pepper for added flavour.
A hand is spooning the roasted tomatoes into the pasta dish.
A hand is adding torn fresh basil leaves to the pasta in a white dish.
The prepared pesto pasta in a square white serving dish, surrounded by ingredients for decoration.

FAQ

Is it essential to roast the tomatoes in the oven?

Roasting tomatoes intensifies their flavour, but you can also use sun-dried tomatoes or fresh tomatoes for a different twist.

Can I use store-bought pesto?

Absolutely. Store-bought pesto is convenient, but homemade pesto offers a fresh, vibrant flavour.

What type of pasta works best for this recipe?

You can use your favourite pasta, but penne, spaghetti, or fusilli work particularly well.


Pro Tips and Guidance

  • Ripe Tomatoes: Use ripe cherry tomatoes to roast. They’ll become sweeter and more flavourful as they cook.
  • Al Dente Pasta: Cook the pasta to “al dente,” which means it should have a slight firmness when bitten. Overcooked pasta can become mushy in the dish.
  • Roasting Time: Keep a close eye on the tomatoes as they roast. The exact roasting time can vary, so remove them from the oven when they’re tender and slightly blistered.
  • Garnish: Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a grating of Parmesan Cheese just before serving for a pop of colour and a burst of fresh basil aroma.
  • Serve Immediately: This dish is best served right away when the tomatoes are still warm and the pasta is at its freshest. You can roast the tomatoes ahead of time and reheat by covering them in foil and placing them back in the oven until heated through. Don’t reheat them in the microwave, otherwise they could explode.
  • Variety of Pasta: Feel free to experiment with different pasta shapes, such as fusilli, penne, or farfalle, to give the dish a unique look. You can use egg pasta or durum wheat pasta, whatever your preference.
  • Warm or Cold: Pesto and Tomato pasta can be enjoy warm or cold the next day.
Two hands using a pepper mill to season the pesto and tomato pasta.

Storage

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. This dish is best enjoyed fresh, but it can be refrigerated for up to two days. The flavours may even meld together, making it delicious the next day.

Reheating: Reheat your pesto pasta in a saucepan on low heat, stirring gently to prevent sticking, you can add a little water while heating if it becomes too dry. Be careful reheating this dish in the microwave as the tomatoes could explode if they are still whole.

Freezing: This dish isn’t suitable for freezing. The texture and flavour can be affected by the freezing process and the pasta can become soggy upon defrosting.


Check Out These Italian Recipes

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An overhead view of the pesto pasta in a white serving bowl surrounded by ingredients.

Easy Pesto Pasta With Oven Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Get ready for an effortless family dinner with our Easy Pesto Pasta with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes. This easy recipe is a great way to satisfy your family's hunger. It's a simple yet incredibly tasty meal, brimming with the rich flavours of homemade basil pesto and oven-roasted tomatoes. If you're looking for a quick and delicious dish, this recipe is for you!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 464kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g Dried Pasta
  • 350 g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp Pesto
  • 50 g Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Basil Leaves, optional
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes and place them in an oven-proof dish (glass, ceramic, or stainless steel).
  • Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast the tomatoes for 25-30 minutes until they are tender and begin to blister. Keep an eye on them as roasting times may vary.
  • Once roasted, remove the tomatoes from the oven, cover, and set aside.
  • Heat a large saucepan of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water and add the pasta.
  • Boil the pasta following the package instructions until it is al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and add the pesto immediately. Stir to coat the pasta completely.
  • Add the roasted tomatoes and gently mix. If cooked on the vine, remove them or leave a few for decoration.
  • Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves, parmesan cheese, and black pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

  • Use ripe, sweet cherry tomatoes for roasting.
  • Keep a close watch on the tomatoes as roasting times can vary.
  • Cook pasta until “al dente” for perfect texture.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves just before serving.
  • Serve immediately for the best taste.
  • Tomatoes can be roasted ahead and reheated in the oven. 
  • Can be enjoyed warm or cold the following day. 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

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