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In just 30 minutes you can have this restaurant-worthy Cherry Tomato Pasta on your table. The sauce is so easy to make, and the deep flavors will blow you away!
If there was one food that I could live on for the rest of my life, it would definitely be pasta. I could go every day eating dishes like this Tomato Orzo, my Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta, this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta and so many more.
One of my all-time favorite pasta recipes is this simple, yet luxurious Cherry Tomato Pasta. It has all the flavors of summer in every bite and I never tire of it. You've gotta try it too!
Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
🌟 This is a quick overview with step-by-step photos. For the complete ingredient amounts and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Cherry Tomatoes - try to use vibrant red tomatoes and let them slightly ripen for the best flavor. You can also use grape tomatoes.
- Olive Oil - high-quality extra-virgin olive oil will yield the best flavor.
- Garlic - I highly recommend using fresh garlic for maximum flavor.
- Spaghetti - Linguini would be my second choice for this sauce. However, you can use any type of pasta that you like. You may need to add less/more depending on the variety you choose though.
- White Wine - any type of dry wine will work. I really love Bogle Chardonnay and use it for lots of recipes. It's inexpensive too. I don't recommend cooking wine. You can also omit the wine if you don't have it.
- Vegan Feta Cheese - I've tried this recipe with Violife and Follow Your Heart feta and they both worked really well. If you can't find them, you can omit the cheese altogether or choose any type of soft cheese that will somewhat meld into the sauce. Vegan cream cheese or vegan ricotta will work too, but I would use half the amount so it doesn't overly thicken the sauce or overtake the other flavors.
- Fresh Basil - it really completes the dish, but it you don't have it, you can use fresh parsley. I would reduce the amount by half though.
- Crushed Red Pepper - this adds a subtle heat and flavor, but feel free to omit if if you don't have it.
How to Make Cherry Tomato Pasta
- While the pasta is boiling, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté until the garlic is softened and fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, and black pepper to the pan. Sauté until tomatoes soften and release their liquid.
- Pour in the white wine and simmer to reduce slightly. If the wine smells strong in the sauce, give it another minute to simmer.
- Add half the basil and the feta cheese. Cook until the cheese melts into the sauce.
- 5 - Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and drizzle with olive oil. Add the pasta into the pan and half of the pasta water. Cook down until somewhat creamy and noodles are coated. Add the remaining pasta water if needed.
- 6 - Top with the remaining basil and more feta if desired. Serve immediately.
- Don't simmer the tomatoes too high or the liquid will reduce too much. Keep it at a mild-medium simmer. If the pan is looking a little dry, just add 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water and simmer a little longer.
- If the sauce is done before the pasta, just put the pan on low heat until the pasta is done. Just remember to raise the heat when you add the pasta.
- Make sure to cook the pasta until just shy of al dente because it will continue to cook when it's added to the sauce. You don't want mushy pasta.
- Be sure to use the recommend amount of pasta so the sauce covers it perfectly. If you want to make more pasta, just add another pint of tomatoes to the recipe and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Things will move quickly once the sauce and pasta are cooking. So prep everything before you begin and have everything near your cooking station.
- It's tempting to use less olive oil, but it's really needed for this recipe to create the luxurious sauce.
More tomato recipes to enjoy
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Cherry Tomato Pasta
- 10 ounces dry spaghetti or linguini
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
- 3-4 cloves garlic , sliced thin
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes , halved
- ⅓ cup dry white wine (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt or to taste (more for pasta water)
- Fresh cracked pepper , to taste
- 1 cup basil , chopped and divided
- ⅓ cup crumbled vegan feta (more for topping)
- Place spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook until al dente, according to package directions (usually around 8-9 minutes). *Don't drain without reading step 6.
- While the pasta is boiling, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is softened, fragrant, and barely golden. You don't want to brown the garlic, so stir often and lower heat if necessary.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, and fresh cracked pepper to the pan over medium heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the tomatoes soften and release their liquid. The liquid should start to simmer and slightly thicken. Don't let it simmer too high or the liquid will reduce too much. If things are looking dry, you can add a few tablespoons of pasta water from the boiling pot into the tomatoes.
- Pour in the white wine and simmer for 2-3 minutes to reduce slightly. If the wine smells strong in the sauce, give it another minute to simmer to meld the flavors.
- Now add the feta cheese and half the basil. Stir and let it cook until the cheese melts into the sauce. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.
- Once the pasta is cooked, reserve ½ cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Now add the pasta along with only half of the pasta water into the pan. Toss to coat well. Gently simmer until sauce is slightly thickened and silky. Add the remaining pasta water if needed. The pasta should be well coated in the sauce. Top with the remaining basil and more feta if desired. Serve immediately.
- Vegan Feta - I have used Violife Feta and Follow Your Heart for this recipe and they both melted perfectly in the sauce. If you can't find vegan feta, you can use any type of soft cheese. Something that'll meld into the sauce like vegan ricotta or cream cheese (I would only use 2-3 tablespoons though). Just make sure you like the taste because it will add that flavor to the sauce. You can also make this recipe without any cheese and it'll still be delicious.
- Wine - if you want to skip this, you don't need to substitute it with anything. However, if you want to add more depth of flavor, you can choose from the ideas below.
- Not all wine is vegan, but there are many varieties out there. Here is a helpful Guide to help you find the right one for you. I used Bogle Chardonnay for this recipe.
- Flavor-Enhancing Ideas - 1 tablespoon of capers with 1-2 teaspoons of brine (lower salt in the recipe If using capers), 1-2 teaspoons of lemon zest, or 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I wouldn't add lemon if you're using wine). Add to the tomatoes when they are almost done.
- If the sauce is done before the pasta, just put the pan on low heat until the pasta is done. Just remember to raise the heat to medium when you add the pasta.
- This recipe serves about 3-4 people. If you're having a salad with it, then it will definitely serve 4 people. If not, I would say it serves 3 people.
- Pasta water is your friend! It helps create the silky consistency of the sauce so don't forget to save some before draining.
- It may be tempting to reduce the amount of olive oil, but it's really needed to bring everything together. You'll see the magic happen when the tomatoes start to soften in the warm oil.