This easy 15 Minute Tomato Basil Pasta recipe is bursting with fresh flavors and is so simple to prepare … make it tonight!
My husband and I stumbled across a wonderful Italian restaurant, Enoteca Maria, in NYC a few years ago.
It was my birthday, and Joel had planned the perfect day wandering around the city and seeing the sights from Manhattan to Brooklyn and beyond. We had only lived in New York for a few months at that point, so it felt like an adventure.
Our last stop was the Staten Island Ferry which has great views of the Statue of Libery and lower Manhattan (plus, it’s free!). We’d never been on it before, so it was a fun way to end our day.
After arriving on Staten Island, we went to look for somewhere to eat, and it was pretty spare pickings. Thankfully, we discovered Enoteca Maria (and this delicious Tomato Basil Pasta!).
Easy Tomato Basil Pasta
Enoteca Maria was such a sweet surprise!
The food, which is cooked by a rotating crew of Italian grandmothers (!), was amazing, and the restaurant had a warm and wonderful atmosphere. They made us feel like family.
We didn’t get to Staten Island very often when we lived in NYC, but somehow, it became a birthday tradition to eat at Enoteca Maria. I’ve enjoyed every meal we’ve eaten there, but one of my favorites included the a delicious bowl of pasta that inspired this easy 15 Minute Tomato Basil Pasta!
I first shared this tasty recipe for Tomato Basil Pasta a couple years ago. It’s so perfect for summer though, that I had to share it again!
How to Make Tomato and Basil Pasta
The beauty of this easy pasta recipe lies in its simplicity. It only takes 15 minutes and a few ingredients to make, but you couldn’t tell from the flavor!
Since there are so few components to this quick pasta sauce, you’ll want to use the best quality ingredients that you can find.
I used cherry tomatoes from this homemade tomato basil sauce. They taste fresher and are sweeter than the hothouse tomatoes you’ll find at most grocery stores, even if you’re making this recipe in the dead of winter.
If you have access to garden (or farmers market) fresh tomatoes this summer, you can use them to replace the cherry tomatoes. Your pasta will taste even more fresh and amazing!
You’ll start the sauce by sauteing garlic and red pepper flakes (skip them if you don’t like spicy food) in olive oil. Then, you’ll add the juicy, sweet cherry tomatoes. Once the tomatoes start to break down, stir in a little broth to create the simple sauce.
The pasta gets added to the sauce when it’s slightly undercooked and finishes cooking in the pan. Cooking pasta this way helps it absorb the delicious flavors of the sauce.
You’ll finish by topping the bowls of cherry tomato pasta with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese … yum!
This easy 15 Minute Pasta serves two to three people, but you could easily double the ingredients to serve a larger crowd. Make it tonight … you’re whole family is sure to love it!
Easy 15 Minute Tomato Basil Pasta
- 8 ounces mastaccioli or penne pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 6 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)*
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add pasta.
- When pasta has about 5 minutes of cooking time left, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium.
- Add garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes to oil; saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add tomatoes to pan and cook for a couple minutes or until they just begin to break down.
- Stir broth into tomatoes and simmer.
- When pasta is almost al dente, drain it and add it to the sauce.
- Cook pasta in sauce for another minute or so. The pasta will have absorbed some of the liquid from the sauce, and it should be al dente.
- Remove pasta from heat and season with salt to taste. Stir in basil, reserving a little for garnishing.
- Serve pasta in bowls, topped with extra basil and Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
Doesn’t this easy 15 Minute Tomato Basil Pasta make a pretty meal?
Although it’s a great weeknight dinners, the lovely colors and delicious flavor make it perfect for special occasions, too.
If you liked this tomato basil pasta sauce, make sure to check out my Lemony Chickpea Salad recipe which was also inspired by an Enoteca Maria dish!
What is your favorite quick and easy meal?