Roasted cherry tomato pasta sauce is the perfect way to use up that glut of cherry tomatoes. The sauce comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta, meaning that dinner can be on the table in just 30 minutes.
Total Time Investment: 30 Minutes
We planted a lot of cherry tomatoes this year. As we seem to have better success with the smaller tomato varieties, we put eight plants in our little verge garden and eagerly waited for them to produce. And produce they have. I have never picked so many tomatoes from my own garden. At the height of production, I found myself with six large bowls of cherry tomatoes sitting on the kitchen bench. Most of the excess was canned or frozen, but I saved enough to make a big batch of this roasted cherry tomato pasta sauce.
This simple cherry tomato pasta sauce comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta, and requires absolutely no attention from you once it is in the oven. The tomatoes soften and burst in the heat, producing a jammy, garlicky sauce that is simply stirred through the cooked pasta. With a fresh basil hit added right at the end, dinner can be on the table in 30 minutes.
If the tomatoes are on the large side, I will cut them in half to speed up the cooking time. The smaller cherry tomatoes are fine kept whole; just rinse them and toss them into the baking tray.
I have also successfully made this sauce with frozen cherry tomatoes, so if it is too hot to turn on the oven, stock your freezer with the tomatoes instead. Then you can enjoy a little hit of summer in the depths of winter.
This sauce works just as well with larger tomatoes cut to the same size as cherry tomatoes. You can also use frozen tomatoes in place of the fresh.
Replace the spaghetti with gluten free pasta to make the dish gluten free.
Use an Italian herb blend in place of the oregano.
Replace the fresh basil with fresh chopped parsley. The pasta sauce will taste slightly different, but the fresh parsley still provides a slight lift to the sauce.
Tips To Get Ahead With Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce
This cherry tomato pasta sauce freezes surprisingly well, so if you find yourself with a glut of cherry tomatoes, make a large batch of the sauce and freeze it in portions. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then just reheat the sauce on the stove before adding it to the hot pasta.
Preserving Cherry Tomatoes
If you find yourself with an abundance of cherry tomatoes, there are a number of ways to preserve them. Possibly the easiest method is to freeze fresh cherry tomatoes. Rinse the tomatoes, then spread them flat on a lined baking tray that will fit in your freezer. Freeze the tomatoes overnight, or until solid, then decant the frozen cherry tomatoes into zip lock bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible, and date and label the bag.
I use frozen cherry tomatoes in numerous ways. To make this roasted cherry tomato pasta sauce, to add to curries and stews, or just softened in a pan for adding to omelettes and scrambled eggs. I will also use them to make simply the best pizza sauce if I am out of passata.
Make large trays of oven dried cherry tomatoes for snacking on, or for tossing through salads. I prefer to dehydrate cherry tomatoes as I feel the flavour is more concentrated, however these are just as easy to make in the oven. Freeze the dried tomatoes if you have too many; they make a fantastic addition to breads or quiches.
And if you are positively drowning in tomatoes, like I was this year, try canning them. Much cheaper than buying those tins.
Super Quick & Easy Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce
- 1 kg (7 cups) cherry tomatoes washed & halved if large
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 20 g (a large handful) fresh basil roughly chopped
- 500 g dried spaghetti
- 50 g (1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese grated
- Salt and pepper
For The Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced).
- Place the cherry tomatoes in a large baking tray. Drizzle over the olive oil, scatter over the sliced garlic and the oregano, and season well with salt and pepper.
- Toss everything together, ensuring the tomatoes are well coated in the olive oil.
- Pat the tomatoes into a single layer across the bottom of the baking tray, and put the tray in the oven.
- Bake the tomatoes for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes have started to burst and the juices are seeping out. Don't allow the tomatoes to blacken too much.
- Remove the tray from the oven, and scatter the chopped basil over the tomatoes.
- Stir gently to incorporate the basil, and to slightly break up the tomatoes.
- The sauce can be cooled and frozen at this stage.
For the Finished Pasta Dish
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- Reserve a cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta.
- Return the pasta to the cooking pot, and tip the roasted cherry tomato pasta sauce into the pot.
- Gently stir the sauce through the pasta, adding a little of the reserved cooking water if it seems a dry. The pasta should look silky, and the tomato juices should coat the spaghetti strands.
- Scatter over a little of the Parmesan, and serve immediately.
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