Spicy Garlic Cherry Tomato Pasta

spicy garlic cherry tomato pasta recipe

Tomato Girl Summer isn’t over yet and you’ve still got time to make one of my favorite recipes – this Spicy Garlic Cherry Tomato Pasta! It doesn’t get any easier and only requires a handful of simple ingredients. The best part may be that it’s done in under 20 minutes and perfect for a weeknight dinner. I guarantee it will become one of your favorites!


All you have to do is follow just a few simple steps to make this dish. After prepping your garlic and heavily salting the pasta water, cook the pasta just before it gets to al dente. Just a quick a note: After cutting the tomatoes in half, I like to salt them as that will release the juices more quickly.

Then you’ll want to sauté your garlic with olive oil before adding in the tomatoes. Once you add the tomatoes and they begin to soften, use a potato smasher (or the bottom of a flat wooden spoon) to crush them. Combine the crushed Calabrian chili, pasta water, and butter to the sauce and then let it simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes. This is when you’ll want to add the pasta into the sauce. You can include a bit more pasta water, if you’d like, along with some fresh basil leaves. I love the touch of freshness that the basil adds.

Mix it all together and then you’re all set to have one of the most flavorful pasta dishes! Just don’t forget to serve it with a ton of Parmigiano Reggiano!

Here’s a video of how I put this Spicy Garlic Cherry Tomato Pasta together! For another delicious pasta, check out this Spice it up Pasta Recipe. If you prefer to make this without the spice, check out this Garlic Cherry Tomato Pasta recipe!

spicy garlic cherry tomato pasta recipe

What You'll Need:

+ 1 lb. spaghetti (I LOVE Barilla Al Bronzo)

+ 3 tbsp. EVOO

+ 4-5 cups cherry tomatoes

+ 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

+ 1-2 tsp. Crushed calabrian chili paste (or crushed red pepper)

+ 1 large handful fresh basil, torn

+ ½ cup pasta water plus more to taste

+ 1-2 tbsp. unsalted butter

+ LOTS of freshly & finely grated parmigiano reggiano

+ Salt and pepper to taste (I’m finally using the one we got at the dairy farm in Italy)


1. In heavily salted water, cook pasta according to package directions (if directions do not mention al dente then cook for 2 minutes less than instructed).

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant being careful not to burn the garlic.

3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add tomatoes to the skillet. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften and release juices.

4. Using a potato masher or the bottom of a flat wooden spoon, gently crush the tomatoes to create a uniform sauce.

5. Add crushed Calabrian chili (or red pepper), ½ cup pasta water, and butter. Stir to combine and let simmer for 5-7 minutes.

6. Turn the heat off, add pasta directly into the sauce and stir quickly to combine. Add additional pasta water if desired and fresh basil leaves. Mix until thoroughly combined and serve with a mountain of parmigiano reggiano. Enjoy!

Tip: After cutting tomatoes in half I like to salt them as this releases juices more quickly.

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