burst cherry tomato pasta

Categories: Grains and Pasta, Posted by Sandy Bergsten


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 pints cherry tomatoes, about 1 lb. (if cherry tomatoes are not available do not use grape tomatoes, use large tomatoes cut into 1-2 inch squares)

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 large sprigs basil, plus ½ cup basil leaves, torn if large

¾ tsp. kosher salt

Pinch of sugar

6 oz. campanelle or other tube pasta

½ oz. finely grated Parmesan (about ¼ cup), plus more for serving



Heat ¼ cup oil in a large heavy pot over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. 

Increase the heat to medium and add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil sprig, and ¾ tsp. salt. Cook, stirring to coat, until the tomatoes begin to burst, about 4 minutes. Smash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to help create a sauce, then continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until a chunky, thickened sauce comes together and about half the tomatoes are completely broken down, 10–12 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a pinch of sugar if sauce seems tart. Pluck out and discard basil sprig.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the pasta, add to the pot with sauce, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until coated, 1–2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in ½ oz. Parmesan.

Divide the pasta among bowls. Top with more Parmesan and ½ cup basil leaves. Drizzle with oil.


Serves 2-3

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