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DeLallo, who I’m so excited to partner with throughout 2022. With a huge assortment of high-quality Italian staples, DeLallo is my favorite one-stop shop for seriously simple-yet-flavorful pasta dinners. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
The Perfect Summer Dinner When It’s Too Hot to Cook: Quick & Easy Marinated Tomato Pasta
You know those summer evenings when it’s too hot to cook or eat or do anything except lay on your couch in the AC? 🙋🏻♀️ This marinated tomato pasta is the perfect dinner for those moments. It’s SO good you’ll want to make it every other night, too!
The beauty of this pasta is the fact that there’s next to no cooking involved. Instead, it leans on the built-in flavor of juicy in-season tomatoes. Off-the-vine summer tomatoes are practically magic all on their own, but when you pair them with basil, finely sliced shallots, & the best Italian EVOO, it creates an easy, no-cook fresh tomato pasta “sauce” that explodes with light & bright summertime flavor. It’s seriously next-level! ✨
Such a light & delicate fresh tomato sauce begs for an equally delicate pasta. I’m, of course, the biggest fan of DeLallo’s Capellini Nests. This angel hair pasta is made in Northern Italy using high-quality durum semolina, known for its superior flavor & texture. Best of all, they cook to the perfect al dente super quickly, keeping time at the stove to an absolute minimum. Simply toss the marinated tomatoes with warm angel hair, relish in a steam bath of fragrant summer flavor, & dinner’s ready! It’s the PERFECT dinner & I am 100% completely smitten with it. 😋🥰
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Fresh Tomato Pasta Recipe Highlights
You’ll love this marinated tomato pasta because…
- MINIMAL COOKING. No one wants to stand over the stovetop when it’s hot out! This pasta relies on quick-cooking capellini pasta & the light, fresh sauce created by marinating in-season tomatoes with EVOO. It’s the ideal low-effort meal for warm summer evenings.
- PEAK SUMMER FLAVOR. Fresh tomato pasta is the best way to use sweet & juicy tomatoes & backyard herbs like fresh basil. Simple yet packed with seasonal flavor.
- ZERO FUSS. Seriously can’t describe how EASY marinated tomato pasta is! Barely any prep, minimal cooking required, & it’s ready in less than 30 minutes – totally low-key!
So little to do, so much to love! 🥰 ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make this Marinated Tomato Pasta with Fresh Cherry Tomatoes, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
Key Ingredients for Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
This marinated tomato pasta is a seasonal showcase! It’s all about using simple, high-quality ingredients & letting their flavors shine. You need less than 10 ingredients to get started…
- Capellini – Delicate sauces, like the marinated tomato sauce in this recipe, pair best with delicate pasta & I’m absolutely obsessed with DeLallo Capellini Nest Pasta. Angel hair & marinated tomatoes are a match made in heaven & I love how these nests are perfectly portioned, making dinner prep even easier. If you don’t love angel hair, thin spaghetti, fusilli, or orecchiette all also work well here. For a gluten-free meal, use gluten-free spaghetti.
- Cherry tomatoes – I like to make marinated tomatoes using cherry tomatoes since they’re so juicy. Any other in-season tomato varieties work beautifully here, though, so use whatever you already have on hand.
- Aromatics – Simple flavor bombs like shallot, garlic, fresh basil, & crushed red pepper flakes infuse the marinated tomatoes with a ton of flavor.
- Lemon – A bit of bright lemon juice tastes like summertime, but it also magically makes the tomatoes taste even more tomato-ey. ✨
- EVOO – DeLallo is always my go-to! It’s always made with 100% Italian olives & it’s always extra virgin.
- Shaved parmesan – The perfect finishing touch!
I use cherry tomatoes for this marinated tomato pasta recipe, but there are tons of varieties to pick from during the summer months. If you’re making pasta with fresh tomatoes in the summertime, then pretty much any tomato is going to be perfect – feel free to use your favorite in-season tomatoes!
The most important factor here is that the tomatoes are in-season & fresh. This recipe is super simple, so there’s nowhere to hide. Tomatoes at peak ripeness yield the best-tasting marinated tomato pasta. Select tomatoes from your local farmer’s market or, better yet, pick them right off the vine from your backyard garden. You can typically trust that most grocery store tomatoes are at their best this time of year, too. You really can’t go wrong!
Low-Effort Summer Goodness: How to Make Marinated Tomatoes Tossed with Pasta
This recipe is intentionally EASY. We’re talking 30 minutes, minimal prep, & next to no cooking – basically the maximum effort I have on a sweltering hot summer day! The most time-consuming component is letting the tomatoes marinate. Otherwise, all you have to do is boil a pot of water. You truly won’t believe how much flavor comes out of so little effort!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Start with the Perfect Marinated Tomatoes recipe:
These marinated tomatoes are like a quick & easy fresh tomato sauce with zero cooking required. It’s so simple but works so well because each component enhances the others. Over time their flavors meld together to create a fresh, light, & bold “sauce” with a sum greater than its parts.
How to make marinated tomatoes. ⇢ Mix sliced cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, fresh basil, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon juice, & olive oil in a bowl with salt & pepper. Stir & let everything sit for at least 10-20 minutes, giving the flavors a little bit of time to meld together. Ideally, I love to let the marinated tomatoes sit for a few hours for maximum flavor. If you’re in a rush, though, no worries – 10 minutes at dinnertime also does the trick!
Meal Prep Tip!
Feel free to prep the marinated tomatoes up to 2 days in advance, storing them in your refrigerator until dinnertime. Be sure to pull the marinated tomatoes out of the fridge when you start boiling the water for pasta, giving them a little bit of time to come up to room temperature before tossing it all together.
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Then, Simply Toss the Marinated Tomatoes with Pasta
Cook the pasta. While the tomatoes marinate, bring a pot of water to a boil & cook the pasta. Our How to Cook Pasta Perfectly guide is full of tips & tricks, but here are a few key things to remember:
- Don’t forget to salt your pasta water! This is the only opportunity to season the pasta itself, which leads to an even more flavorful marinated tomato pasta dish.
- Cook to al dente. Check the package instructions for timing on this. Capellini is very delicate & cooks fairly quickly (about 5 minutes!). You’ll know it’s al dente when the pasta is tender with a tiny bit of a bite.
- Do not rinse your pasta! 🙅🏻♀️ Simply drain your al dente pasta & add it right into the bowl of marinated tomatoes.
Here’s where the magic happens. When you add the cooked angel hair to the marinated tomatoes, the heat from the pasta awakens the marinated tomatoes, almost partially cooking them. It creates an extra-juicy, warm, & flavorful “sauce” to coat the pasta. Toss it all together, add some shaved parmesan & you’re good to go!
Serving Marinated Cherry Tomato Pasta (Plus, Simple Subs & Add-Ins!)
It’s as simple as that! Once you’ve tossed the marinated cherry tomato pasta, it’s ready to eat. Feel free to add some more grated parmesan, chopped basil or parsley, or an extra sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes. Then pour yourself a cold drink, find a comfy seat in the shade, & enjoy your fabulous low-effort summer dinner.
Vegetarian & Vegan Modifications. ⇢ This recipe is naturally meatless, though you can easily make it vegetarian or vegan. For vegetarian marinated tomato pasta, omit the parmesan or use a rennet-free version. Choose your favorite dairy-free parmesan to make it vegan.
I prefer a really light meal on a super hot summer evening, so this marinated tomato pasta is perfect as-is for me. You can easily make it a bit heartier by adding some protein or veggies if you’d like to. A few easy ideas to get you started…
- Grilled lemon chicken – This simple grilled chicken recipe has a lemony & garlicky flavor that pairs naturally with fresh tomato pasta.
- Grilled sausage – Sausage is my go-to source of protein in the summer because it’s easy to grill up & goes with pretty much anything! Slice the grilled sausage & toss into your bowl of marinated tomato pasta – easy!
- Grilled veggies like charred bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, or zucchini are great either served on the side or mixed into the pasta with fresh tomatoes.
I can’t wait for you to try this Marinated Tomatoes Pasta with Fresh Cherry Tomatoes! It’s low-effort summer dinner magic, & I’m pretty sure you’re going to be just as obsessed as we are! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!
More Recipes Like This:
Simple Pasta Recipes
Crafted with hot summer evenings in mind, this Marinated Tomato Pasta is the ultimate warm weather dinner! It’s light with bold flavor & comes together in 30 minutes or less with next to no cooking involved.
The magic comes from the juicy sweetness of in-season tomatoes. Simply marinate sliced cherry tomatoes in olive oil with aromatics like shallots, garlic, & basil, & the result is an insanely delicious no-cook fresh tomato “sauce” that begs to be tossed into pasta.
It’s best to pair delicate sauces with equally delicate pasta, so capellini (angel hair) is my pasta of choice here. As a bonus, it cooks to a perfect al dente really quickly, keeping time at the stove to an absolute minimum. Simply toss the marinated tomatoes with warm pasta, relish in a steam bath of fragrant summer flavor, & dinner’s ready!
This marinated tomato pasta has seriously bold flavor & makes for a great light dinner all on its own, but you can pair it with grilled protein or grilled veggies if you’d like to bulk it up a bit. Be sure to check out the blog post, above, for some suggestions to get you started.
- 8.8 ounces capellini pasta
- 32 ounces cherry tomatoes or late summer tomatoes of choice, quartered or chopped into small bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium shallot, very finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped or grated
- ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves & tender stems, very finely sliced (roughly 1.25 ounces)
- up to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, as desired
- 1 large lemon, juiced (2–3 tablespoons juice)
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup shaved parmesan
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: crushed red chili flakes, thinly sliced basil, chopped fresh parsley, grated parmesan, etc.
- Marinate the tomatoes: To a large bowl, add the cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, basil, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon juice, & olive oil. Season with 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Stir to combine well. Set aside to soak, marinate, & meld for at least 10-20 minutes. (Time permitting, a few hours yields maximum flavor, but if you’re prepping this at dinnertime, 10-ish minutes will do the trick just fine!)
- Cook the pasta: At dinnertime, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, generously salt the water. Add the capellini and cook to al dente according to package directions. Once al dente, drain the pasta & transfer directly to the bowl with the marinated tomatoes.
- Toss the fresh tomato pasta: Add the shaved parmesan to the bowl with the marinated tomatoes & warm capellini. Toss to combine well. Taste & adjust seasoning as needed.
- Serve immediately, topped with additional grated parmesan, chopped basil or parsley, &/or a sprinkling of crushed red pepper, as desired. Enjoy!
- Vegetarian &/or vegan fresh tomato pasta: This marinated tomato pasta recipe is naturally meatless. For a vegetarian version, omit the parmesan or use your favorite rennet-free parmesan. To take it a step further & make it vegan, opt for your favorite dairy-free parmesan instead.
- Storage & Reheating: Leftover fresh tomato pasta will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Enjoy leftovers cold, at room temperature, or reheat in the microwave until warmed through as desired.
- 10-15 Minute Meal Prep: Nearly all the active time involved with this marinated tomato pasta recipe comes from prepping the veggies. Take care of this in advance & store in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It takes 10 minutes, tops, & with the prep work done, you can jump straight into cooking at dinnertime.
- Quarter 2 pints cherry tomatoes or roughly chop summer tomatoes of choice. (approx. 10 minutes active prep)
- Very thinly slice 1 medium shallot. (> 1 minute active prep)
- Bonus: Take it a step further by prepping the marinated tomatoes according to Step 1 of Recipe Directions, above. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. At dinnertime, let the tomatoes warm slightly or come to room temperature, then toss together the pasta. (15 minutes active prep)
Keywords: marinated tomatoes, summer pasta recipe, angel hair pasta recipes, fresh tomatoes
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by KJ & Company, Kate Poskochil