Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes: Simple pasta with a vibrant pesto sauce.

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Looking for a quick and flavorful pasta dish to add to your recipe repertoire? Look no further than Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes. This simple yet vibrant dish combines al dente pasta with a homemade pesto sauce, bursting with the fresh flavors of basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. But what sets this dish apart is the addition of juicy cherry tomatoes, which add a burst of sweetness and acidity to every bite. Whether you’re looking for a reliable weeknight dinner or a dish to impress guests, Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.


To make a delicious pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes, you will need the following ingredients:


The base of this dish is pasta. You can choose any type of pasta you like, such as spaghetti, penne, or farfalle. The choice is yours!

Cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes add a burst of sweetness and acidity to the dish. Their bright red color also adds visual appeal. Be sure to choose ripe, firm cherry tomatoes for the best flavor.

Basil leaves

Basil is the star ingredient in the pesto sauce. Its fresh and aromatic flavor adds a vibrant taste to the dish. You can use either sweet basil or the more peppery and robust Genovese basil.

Garlic cloves

Garlic is a key component in the pesto sauce, providing a rich and savory taste. Make sure to mince the garlic cloves finely so that they blend seamlessly in the sauce.

Pine nuts

Pine nuts are traditionally used in pesto sauce and add a delicious nutty flavor. They also give the sauce a creamy texture. Toast the pine nuts lightly before using to enhance their taste.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is a staple in Italian cuisine and brings a salty and tangy flavor to the dish. Grate the cheese finely so that it melts easily into the pesto sauce.

Olive oil

Olive oil serves as the base for the pesto sauce, adding a smooth and silky texture. Use extra virgin olive oil for the best quality and flavor.


Salt enhances the flavors of the dish and balances the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes. Taste the dish before adding salt, as the Parmesan cheese and pesto sauce may already provide enough saltiness.


Pepper adds a hint of heat and earthiness to the dish. Freshly ground black pepper is recommended for the best flavor.


Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to prepare the dish. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes:

Cooking the pasta

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the water.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions, or until al dente.
  3. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set it aside. Be sure to reserve a small amount of pasta water for later.

Preparing the pesto sauce

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the basil leaves, garlic cloves, pine nuts, and grated Parmesan cheese.
  2. Blend the ingredients until they are finely chopped and well combined.
  3. While the blender is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the sauce reaches a smooth and creamy consistency.
  4. Taste the pesto sauce and adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper, if needed.

Roasting the cherry tomatoes

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil.
  3. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Roast the tomatoes in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until they start to burst and caramelize.

Combining the pasta and pesto

  1. In a large pan, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss it to coat with the oil.
  3. Gradually add the pesto sauce to the pan, mixing it with the pasta until it is evenly coated.
  4. If the sauce seems too thick, add a small amount of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up.
  5. Cook the pasta and sauce mixture for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

Topping with roasted cherry tomatoes

  1. Once the pasta is heated through, remove it from the heat.
  2. Transfer the pesto pasta to serving plates or a large platter.
  3. Generously spoon the roasted cherry tomatoes over the top of the pasta.
  4. Finish the dish by sprinkling some grated Parmesan cheese over the tomatoes.

Tips and Variations

Now that you know how to make pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes, here are some tips and variations to make this dish your own:

Using different types of pasta

Feel free to experiment with different types of pasta to suit your preferences. Try using whole wheat pasta for a healthier option or use colored pasta to add visual appeal to the dish.

Adding protein or vegetables

To make this dish more hearty and nutritious, you can add protein such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or cooked sausage. You can also incorporate vegetables like sautéed mushrooms, roasted bell peppers, or steamed broccoli for added flavor and texture.

Substituting ingredients in the pesto sauce

If you don’t have pine nuts on hand, you can substitute them with other nuts like almonds or walnuts. You can also replace the Parmesan cheese with a different hard cheese like Pecorino Romano.

Adjusting the seasoning to taste

Always taste your dish before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or even a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten up the flavors.

Serving Suggestions

To enhance the experience of enjoying pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes, here are some serving suggestions:

Garnishing with additional Parmesan cheese and basil leaves

Before serving the dish, sprinkle some extra grated Parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves over the top. This adds an extra layer of flavor and freshness to the dish.

Pairing with a side salad or garlic bread

Serve your pesto pasta with a side salad, such as a mixed green salad or a tomato and mozzarella salad. You can also accompany it with garlic bread or a crusty baguette to soak up any remaining sauce.

Serving as a main dish or side dish

Pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes can be the star of the show as a main dish, or you can serve it as a side dish alongside grilled meats or fish. It’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger meal.


Pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes is a simple yet flavorful dish that celebrates the vibrant flavors of basil and tomatoes. With its vibrant green color, aromatic pesto sauce, and burst of sweetness from the cherry tomatoes, this pasta dish is sure to impress your friends and family. Whether served as a main course or a side dish, it’s a versatile recipe that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. So grab your ingredients, follow the steps, and enjoy a delicious plate of pesto pasta with cherry tomatoes!