Table of Contents
  1. This tomato pasta is the best recipe for summer!
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll enjoy these other weeknight meal recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Fresh Tomato Herb Pasta Recipe

When tomatoes are plentiful in the garden, farmer’s market, or grocery store, there’s no better way to showcase their flavor than with a simple pasta. This tomato-forward pasta dish is a great way to use up extra tomatoes and herbs, all in an easy-to-make summertime recipe!

This tomato pasta is the best recipe for summer!

Pasta is often thought of as comfort food, and is usually paired with heavy sauces during the cooler months to feel warm and cozy. But where does that leave pasta during the summer months?

Tomatoes are at their best with the most flavor towards the end of summer. And to capitalize on that, this pasta utilizes the tomatoes not by cooking them but by leaving them raw, amplifying their bright flavor.

Instead of cooking the tomatoes, which would create a traditional sauce, this pasta begins with raw sliced tomatoes. The chunks of tomatoes are marinated in an easy-to-make vinaigrette, which macerates them, and is mixed with fresh herbs. When warm pasta is added to the tomatoes, the pasta soaks in the collected juices, and the easiest pasta meal is created.

This simple dish can be made in under an hour for a quick weeknight meal that will please everyone.

White plate filled with twisted pasta with chunks of tomatoes, herbs, and Parmesan cheese all over the top.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

When it’s summer and the produce is ready, whether in the garden or at the grocery store, the best way to use it is in simple meals that highlight summer flavors. And that’s exactly the aim of the ingredients in this recipe. Here are some of the important items you’ll need:

  • Tomatoes are best when used ripe and in season. For this recipe, choose any tomato that you enjoy eating. Large tomatoes should be cut into bite-size pieces. Cherry tomatoes should be sliced in half.
  • Pasta should be cooked to al dente. This allows the pasta the ability to soak in some of the tomato vinaigrette and thicken the sauce.
  • Balsamic vinegar provides sweetness and some acidity to the fresh sauce. Choose a brand of vinegar with no added sugar. It should not be syrupy.
  • Olive oil gives richness to the vinaigrette as well as flavor. Since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, choose a good-quality olive with lots of full flavor, which will balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Garlic is minced and added to the tomatoes. The acidity in the vinaigrette helps temper the astringent garlic and provides a cleaner flavor.
  • Lemon zest adds a nice, bright pop of fresh flavor at the end of the dish to wake up all the other flavors.
Marble countertop filled with everything needed to make a fresh tomato pasta recipe including tomatoes, pasta, herbs, oil, lemon, cheese, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

The best part of making this tomato herb pasta recipe is its simplicity! There are four main steps, and most of the time is actually spent cutting up the tomatoes. Here are the steps to make this recipe:

  1. Prepare the tomatoes. Slice a selection of tomatoes into bite-size pieces. For smaller tomatoes, such as cherry or grape, slice them in half. For larger tomatoes, make sure to remove the core. Then slice into wedge pieces. Add the tomatoes to a bowl.
  1. Prepare the marinade. In the bowl with the tomatoes, add the minced garlic. For the basil and oregano, remove the leaves from the stems. Chop up the basil, oregano, and parsley and add on top of the tomatoes. Pour on the balsamic vinegar, Calabrian chili peppers, black pepper, salt, and olive oil. Mix everything together and set it aside while preparing the pasta.
  1. Cook the pasta. To a large pot on the stove, add water, and bring it to a boil. Add in a sprinkle of salt to season the pasta. Add in the pasta and cook until al dente. Once cooked, drain the pasta.
  1. Mix together the pasta and tomatoes. To the warm pasta, pour on the marinated tomatoes. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Mix everything together until the pasta is fully coated in the liquid from the marinade. Then serve and enjoy!

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • When preparing the garlic, opt for a minced chop rather than pressing it. Since the garlic in this recipe will not be cooked, you don’t want too much garlic flavor. Mincing will release just enough garlic flavor to be delicious while pressing garlic will release a bit too much.
  • Since so much flavor for the sauce comes from olive oil, make sure to use good-quality olive oil. While this may sound pretentious, a higher-quality olive oil really does carry more flavor.
  • If the marinade seems like too much after adding to the pasta, simply allow the dish to sit for a few minutes. The pasta will soak up some of the marinade, which will also deepen the flavor as well.
Pot filled with pasta, tomatoes, and herbs, all mixed together and topped with Parmesan cheese.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Will this recipe work if only using small tomatoes, such as grape or cherry tomatoes?

Of course! Personally, I love to add in a whole bunch of Sungold cherry tomatoes as well as some larger heirloom varieties. But the larger tomatoes can be left out if you prefer a smaller, more bite-size tomato.

Is there an alternative for Calabrian chili peppers?

Not necessarily. You can use ¼ to ½ tsp of red pepper flakes. The flakes will add some heat but will not have the flavor that the Calabrian chili peppers will.

Would canned tomatoes work in this recipe?

This recipe is designed for fresh tomatoes, and canned tomatoes will not work in the same manner. Canned tomatoes are best used when cooked into a sauce and don’t impart the same flavor as a fresh tomato.

Can dried herbs be used in place of fresh herbs?

Yes, dried herbs can be used in place of the fresh, but the texture will suffer. The fresh herbs have a texture that works well with the tomatoes. Dried herbs will not fully hydrate and could be noticed in the final dish.

What protein(s) would work well with this pasta?

Both chicken and shrimp would be perfect. Personally, I would recommend cooking an added meat separately, cutting it into strips (if using chicken), and then adding in with the Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Stir to combine everything, and you’ll have a bit of extra protein in this past!

Watch how to make this recipe.

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your dessert table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they too can make, enjoy, and love!

Large metal stockpot filled with pasta mixed with herbs and tomatoes all on marble surface.

Fresh Tomato Herb Pasta

5 from 6 votes
When tomatoes are plentiful in the garden, farmer's market, or grocery store, there's no better way to showcase their flavor than with a simple pasta. This tomato-forward pasta dish is a great way to use up extra tomatoes and herbs, all in an easy-to-make summertime recipe!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 lb tomatoes sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup chopped basil
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped oregano
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Calabrian chili peppers
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 lb tagliatelle pasta
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the prepared tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, balsamic vinegar, Calabrian chili peppers, black pepper, salt, and olive oil. Stir to combine and set aside while preparing the pasta.
    3 lb tomatoes, 4 cloves garlic, ½ cup chopped basil, ¼ cup chopped parsley, 2 tbsp chopped oregano, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp Calabrian chili peppers, 1 tsp black pepper, ¾ tsp salt, ½ cup olive oil
  • Bring water to a boil following the instructions on the pasta. Once the water is boiling, add salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente. Once al dente, drain the pasta.
    1 lb tagliatelle pasta
  • Immediately add the warm pasta to the prepared tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add the Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Stir and serve.
    ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tsp lemon zest

Notes

  • When preparing the garlic, opt for a minced chop rather than pressing it. Since the garlic in this recipe will not be cooked, you don’t want too much garlic flavor. Mincing will release just enough garlic flavor to be delicious while pressing garlic will release a bit too much.
  • Since so much flavor for the sauce comes from olive oil, make sure to use good-quality olive oil. While this may sound pretentious, a higher-quality olive oil really does carry more flavor.
  • If the marinade seems like too much after adding to the pasta, simply allow the dish to sit for a few minutes. The pasta will soak up some of the marinade, which will also deepen the flavor as well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 404kcal
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Difficulty Easy
Method Cooking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this dish tonight using fresh Roma tomatoes from my DIL. I didn’t have any Calabrian peppers. I also used a low carb noodle. It was delicious!! So fresh. Tasted just like summer. Thanks Kaleb for another great recipe.