If you are looking for a simple, delicious pasta to eat anytime or even pack in your kids' lunch boxes, look no further. This Simple Pesto Tomato Pasta is perfect!
This Simple Pesto Tomato Pasta will be your new go to recipe when things get hectic! It stores well for days and can even be served cold, so no need to worry about microwaving it when you are on the go.
Why you'll love this Pesto Tomato Pasta!
- Great for the kids. I love packing this recipe for my kids' for lunches, they love it!
- An easy pasta recipe. It really doesn't get much easier than this simple pasta, easy to prep and you don't even need to chop anything!
- Loaded with flavor! Colorful cherry tomatoes and golden pasta seasoned with garlic, pesto, pepper flakes and Parmesan - so good!
Ingredients you'll need
- Penne Pasta
- Colored Grape Tomatoes
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Black Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese
- Pasta Water
- Chili Pepper Flakes (optional)
How to make this Pesto Tomato Pasta
- Cook the pasta. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Save 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- Cook the veggies. In a frying pan with olive oil, sauté the garlic, then add in the tomatoes and let them cook on medium heat until the tomatoes are super tender, then mash them.
- Add the pasta. Add in the black pepper, chili flakes (optional), pasta water, salt and pesto sauce. Sauté the ingredients together on simmer for 2 minutes and then add in the cooked pasta. Allow the pasta to absorb the sauce for around 4 mins.
- Serve and enjoy!
Recipe notes and tips
- Use enough cold water so when the pasta begins to cook and expand, there's lots of room for the pasta to move freely.
- Make sure your water is properly boiling before adding the pasta. Pasta that's added too soon will be soggy and improperly cooked.
- As soon as you put your pasta in the water, stir it. This stops the pasta from sticking together.
- You can add some fresh basil or freshly grated Parmesan cheese to finish off the toppings.
- This dish stores well for couple of days, in an airtight container in the fridge and can make a great lunch box meal.
What's the best pesto sauce to use?
I always use fresh pesto that's sold in store. Most of the time I get mine from Costco. It's the best out there. It freezes well and lasts for a while. But you can of course use whatever pesto you have to hand.
What's the best pasta to use?
The pasta used can easily be swapped with another kind based on your family's preferences.
Usually my kids love it when I prepare this with elbow pasta or the Mini Farfalle pasta but I didn't have any on hand when I decided to make some. Penne works well, it's also a great pasta to eat cold.
Fusilli, cavatappi, and rotini are also good options. The curves and grooves in them hold pesto and sauce well as well as allowing the oil to stick to the pasta.
What else can I add to this Pesto Tomato Pasta?
This Tomato Pesto Pasta is grea on its own but you can of course customize it with other goodies. Here are some ideas:
- Crumbled Feta cheese
- Olives, pitted and halved
- Cannellini beans
- Chopped Broccoli
- Bell Peppers
- Green peas
Other delicious pasta recipes
- Garlic Parmesan Shrimp Spaghetti
- Easy Beef Lo Mein Noodle
- Creamy Broccoli Mac N’ Cheese
- Caprese Pasta Salad
I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you including this delicious and simple Pesto Tomato Pasta. I hope you try it, enjoy it, rate it and share it with your friends and family!
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Simple Tomato Pesto Pasta
- 8 oz. penne pasta
- 3 cups colored grape tomatoes
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- 1 tbsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. pesto sauce
- 1/2 cup water from pasta
- 2 tsps. pepper flakes optional
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Save 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- Wash and dry the tomatoes I used the multi colored grape tomatoes. In a frying pan, heat 3 tbsps. of olive oil and sauté the chopped garlic for 20-30 seconds. Add in the tomatoes and give them a toss then cover and let them cook on medium heat until the tomatoes are super tender.
- Remove lid and mash the tomatoes to obtain a paste texture. You can leave a few pieces that are not mash all the way through if you prefer.
- Add in the black pepper, chili flakes (optional), pasta water, salt and pesto sauce. Sauté the ingredients together on simmer for 2 minutes and then add in the cooked pasta and cook together for 3-4 minutes on low heat so the pasta absorbs all the sauce.
- Remove and serve. You can add some fresh basil or freshy grated parmesan cheese to finish off the toppings.