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Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta


In this recipe, cherry tomatoes are used to create a vibrant sauce, boosted with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. This dish is perfect for summer but can be enjoyed year-round.


  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 large sprigs fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes (30 ounces or about 6 cups)
  • 12 ounces dried pasta
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water and seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese (optional)


  1. Prepare Pasta Water: Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, thinly slice the 4 garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from the 4 large fresh basil sprigs until you have about 1 loosely packed cup.
  2. Cook Pasta: Add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook according to package directions for 1 minute less than al dente.
  3. Prepare the Sauce: While the pasta is cooking, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, tomatoes, 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes burst and start releasing their juices, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Combine Pasta and Sauce: Once the pasta is ready, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta. Coarsely chop or tear the basil leaves. Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the pasta water, and bring to a simmer. Introduce the drained pasta to the skillet and toss continuously. Continue until the sauce has slightly thickened, coating the pasta, and the pasta is al dente, roughly 1 minute.
  5. Serving: Remove the skillet from the heat. Incorporate half of the basil and toss to mix. Season with more kosher salt if required. Distribute the pasta into individual shallow bowls or plates. If opting for burrata cheese, tear the 8 ounces into sizable chunks and scatter across each serving. Finalize with a drizzle of olive oil and the remaining basil.

Recipe Notes:

  • Storage: If there are any leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • While any pasta shape is suitable, Orecchiette is recommended as it holds the sauce well. If burrata is not used, consider grating some Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese on top.
  • If you possess a high-quality bottle of extra-virgin olive oil, this is the time to utilize it for that finishing touch!

Enjoy your fresh and summery Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta!

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