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Angled view of a bowl of farfalle pasta with pesto sauce and roasted tomatoes on a wood surface.

Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes

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  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes is an easy, delicious dish that’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal. It’s a favorite summer pasta in my house.


  • 1lb farfalle pasta, or pasta of choice
  • 3 cups (1lb) grape or cherry tomatoes, whole or halved, if large (I used heirloom)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 cups (2 bunches) basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper


  1. Toast pine nuts: To toast pine nuts, add them to a small, cold pan. Turn heat to medium. Toss frequently as nuts gently toast, for about 3-4 minutes or until fragrant and golden, being cautious not to burn. You can also toast them in a 350F oven for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Roast tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt. Toss to coat. Roast for 6-12 minutes or until tomatoes are blistered and starting to burst, rotating pan half way through. 
  3. Cook pasta: While tomatoes are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving one cup of pasta water.
  4. Make pesto: While the tomatoes and pasta are cooking, combine nuts and garlic in a food processor or high quality blender, and pulse until finely ground. Add basil, season lightly with salt and drizzle in a small amount of oil. Process until finely chopped, but do not over-process. Stream in 3/4 cup of olive oil slowly while blending until a thick paste forms. Add cheese and pulse to combine. Stir in lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
  5. Toss pasta and enjoy: Add hot pasta to a bowl with pesto a couple tablespoons of pasta water, as needed to thin sauce, and stir to combine. Stir in roasted tomatoes. Enjoy.


Other good pasta choice include fusilli, rigatoni, penne and spaghetti.

I usually use all red tomatoes. There is no need for multi-colored tomatoes.

If you don’t want to turn on the oven, you can place the tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook them until they start to burst and release juices.

You can use almonds, walnuts or pistachios instead of pine nuts. For any of these nuts, toast at 350F for 8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring half way through. Cool completely before using.

Use domestic parmesan cheese if you can’t find the Italian variety.

Use 1 to 1 1/4 cups of store-bought pesto to save time.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Roast, boil
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of pasta
  • Calories: 680
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 130mg
  • Fat: 43g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 36g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 63g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg