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Juicy penne pasta with sweet cherry tomatoes and basil

Juicy Penne Pasta With Cherry Tomatoes And Basil

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  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Pasta Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This easy, penne pasta recipe is all about the sauce! Cherry tomatoes simmer in a combination of olive oil, butter, and garlic until juicy and sweet. It’s the perfect, weeknight meal.


  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 tbsp butter 
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 pints (2 1/4 lbs) sweet cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ground Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Do not drain.
  2. Meanwhile, halve the cherry tomatoes; set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, melt the butter, olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes release their juice and the sauce thickens slightly, about 5-7 minutes (I use this time to thinly slice the basil into ribbons). Add a handful of ground Parmesan cheese to taste, and stir will to combine.
  5. At this point, the pasta should be done. Using a fine mesh strainer, scoop out the pasta and add it directly to the pan. It’s OK if some of the water clings to the pasta. Stir well to coat. Note: if the sauce is too thick, add a splash of the pasta cooking water to loosen the texture.
  6. Add the basil.
  7. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper if needed. 
  8. Portion the penne pasta into bowls. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to serve.