pasta with fresh summer tomatoes, basil + parmesan

by Amy on 23 August 2011

meet my favorite go-to summer meal: pasta tossed with tomatoes + basil from our garden, olive oil, a little salt + pepper, + of course, some freshly grated parmesan cheese. my husband made this for me first last summer (yes, he can cook!) + i was hooked. the tomatoes are fresh + sweet, which is perfectly complemented by the rich, creamy parmesan + bright basil. summer in a bowl!

the ingredient amounts below are my preferences – i tend to like my pastas loaded up with veggies + cheese with a good salty bite. you may want to choose ingredient amounts largely based on your taste – perhaps you want fewer tomatoes, more pasta, less cheese, or some red pepper flakes for a little heat. don’t be afraid to go on your instincts + play around in the kitchen – your inner chef may just surprise you with his/her awesomeness. bon appetit!

pasta with fresh summer tomatoes, basil + parmesan

makes 2-3 servings, a fearless homemaker original!


2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup olive oil
about a dozen basil leaves, cut in chiffonade
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
8 ounces angel hair pasta
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


combine the tomatoes, olive oil, basil, salt + pepper in a medium-sized bowl. let marinate for at least 30 minutes + up to a few hours.

cook the pasta according to the package directions, until al dente. reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, drain, + toss with the marinated tomato mixture. add enough cooking liquid to achieve the moisture decided, toss with the parmesan + serve immediately.

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Caroline @ chocolate and carrots August 23, 2011 at 9:39 am

Yum! I was waiting for this one…after seeing the photo on facebook. :-)

2 amy August 23, 2011 at 9:43 am

i got a bunch of emails asking for it, so i figured it was time to determine the ingredient amounts. i want to get better at writing down amounts when i improv in the kitchen, since some of those dishes turn out wonderfully!

3 Renee August 23, 2011 at 10:04 am

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. I love those colored cherry tomatoes. With those and the basil it is a great summer dish! I think I need to make this soon before the summer tomatoes are gone.

4 amy August 23, 2011 at 10:09 am

agree, sometimes simpler / fresher can be just as good, if not better, than the long-ingredient list dishes. enjoy this if / when you make it!

5 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl August 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm

This looks fabulous–colorful, cool, easy and healthy–my favorites this time of year!

6 amy August 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm

amen. there’s no use slaving over a hot stove this time of year unless you must. the less time in the heat of the kitchen, the better!

7 Ellen August 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm

That might be the prettiest pasta I’ve ever seen. Gorgeous!!!! (And sounds delicious)!

8 amy August 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm

aww, shucks. =) + yes, it is pretty darn delicious!

9 Ally Garner August 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm

If i let the little fat girl inside of me make decisions i’d eat pasta twice a day, everyday. Alas, the skinny girl has veto power. However, with enough veggies from my garden & an extra Pure barre class, i may get away with eating that delish recipe from Mr. Fearless more often. At bare minimum this will make it into my monthly menu rotation :)

10 amy August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm

ditto! i try to limit myself to pasta once or so a week – it’s a food that i cannot control how much i eat! quinoa, rice, couscous, barley — those are all no problem. pasta? that’s a whole ‘nother story. it’s addictive!

11 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. August 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm

So simple, pretty and fresh. I love it!

12 amy August 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm

thanks, alison. simple + fresh + pretty = a perfect meal!

13 Mommyof2Girlz/StephD August 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I just picked a ton of tomatoes and basil from my garden today. Now I know what i’m making for dinner tomorrow. This looks amazing, thank you!

14 amy August 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm

awesome! that’s exactly how this recipe came to be — so we could use up those wonderful fresh tomatoes + basil from the garden. let me know how it goes! =)

15 Maris (In Good Taste) August 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm

This must be so delicious with the fresh tomatoes and basil. Looks perfect!

16 amy August 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm

it is, maris – definitely one of my favorite meals of the summer. =)

17 Simply Life August 24, 2011 at 6:38 am

Yum! I just made something similar this week -it’s such a perfect dish for this time of year!

18 amy August 24, 2011 at 8:37 am

i’d love to see your version – maybe it’ll make an appearance on your blog sometime soon. =)

19 BreAna {Sugar and Spice and All Things Iced} August 24, 2011 at 8:50 am

I definitely know what I am making tomorrow for dinner (I think our tomatoes will be ripe then). This looks fantastic!!

20 amy August 24, 2011 at 9:04 am

awesome! if you have extra time / the desire to do so, take a picture of the finished result – your photos are always so lovely, + i’d love to see how it turns out. bon appetit!

21 EA-The Spicy RD August 24, 2011 at 9:27 am

So pretty! I love all the vibrant colors! I do a very similar dish, only I use fresh mozzarella in place of the parmesan and add a liberal dose of pine nuts. Yum!

22 amy August 24, 2011 at 9:36 am

i’ve used fresh mozzarella, too, which is delicious! i haven’t tried adding pine nuts, but that’s a great idea – they’d add a really nice flavor.

23 New York Diaries August 24, 2011 at 11:18 am

This is EXACTLY what I want for dinner tonight. Thanks for the recipe!

24 amy August 24, 2011 at 11:33 am

you’re the third person who has told me they’re making this for dinner tonight – that rocks! we should all get together for a pasta party. =)

25 Blond Duck August 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm

One of the main reasons I hate for summer to end is all the fresh vegetables go with it! Meals like this should be all year round!

26 amy August 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm

so true. i like winter veggies like parsnips, but they are *nothing* like fresh summer vegetables!

27 blackbookkitchendiaries August 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm

this is such a pretty picture! i am loving the fresh flavors here..yum! thank you for sharing this.

28 amy August 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm

aren’t the summer colors just irresistible? + you’re welcome. =)

29 Kristen @ notsodomesticated August 24, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I love this idea. It’s so fresh and simple, but I bet it has lots of flavor. Great idea!

30 amy August 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm

thanks, kristen! this is definitely something that anyone can make, too, however domesticated (or not-so-domesticated) they may be. just kiddin’!

31 Marina August 25, 2011 at 6:25 am

Wherever I look it’s pasta and I love it.. But it’s not so good for my diet plans 😀

32 amy August 25, 2011 at 9:51 am

to make it even better for your diet plan, try substituting whole wheat pasta. there’s also reduced-calorie pasta, but i’ve never tried it, so i can’t speak to how tasty it might be. =)

33 Lesley August 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm

It’s one of my favorites, too. Unfortunately, living with a tomato-hater limits how often I fix this for dinner!

34 amy August 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm

my husband is a raw-tomato hater, too, so when i make this, he normally gets fried chicken or a burger. we should send the menfolk out for a meat fiesta one night + you + i can enjoy this. =)

35 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts August 31, 2011 at 1:00 pm

What a great pasta dish! I just picked a bunch of tomatoes this morning, looks perfect for this!

36 amy August 31, 2011 at 1:18 pm

that’s what brought the recipe about – trying to find a new, good use for all of our garden tomatoes. hope you give this a try + love it!

37 Jessica @ Cajunlicious September 8, 2011 at 11:41 am

This pasta looks amazing, bookmarked and am a new follower!

38 amy September 8, 2011 at 11:58 am

great to meet you, jessica! i’m a huuuge cajun food lover so i’m so glad we connected. off to check out your blog!

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