Angel Hair Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes

Angel Hair Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes

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Delicate angel hair pasta is tossed in an easy tomato-basil sauce.MORE+LESS-

Updated September 18, 2017


can (28 oz) Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes


cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for garnish)

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  • 1

    Bring water to a boil for the pasta. Drop the pasta in.

  • 2

    Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook about 2 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.

  • 3

    When the pasta is cooked, strain and add to the tomatoes. Stir in the basil and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve with more Parmesan, olive oil, and cracked black pepper.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
3 1/2g
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

4 Starch; 0 Fruit; 2 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 3 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 1 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;

Carbohydrate Choice

7 1/2

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • This fast and easy dinner will remind you of warmer days ahead.To me, and probably anyone who has ever had a garden, tomato and basil is the taste of summer. But sometimes you crave those flavors in the middle of the winter! One option is to buy overpriced and not very tasty tomatoes from the store. What I do instead is use really good canned tomatoes to fulfill my cravings.This simple pasta dish tastes like those fresh summer flavors you've been missing for the past several months. There are only a few ingredients and it takes only as long as boiling water.A simple, hearty dish that will fill you up this winter – but won't break the bank or be too much work.

I made Ina Garten's easy summer pasta dish and it reminded me of dinners in Italy

From cosmos before noon to roasted potatoes that broke the internet, the "Barefoot Contessa" star has been a constant source of inspiration.

So when Garten posted the recipe for her favorite summer pasta, I knew I had to give it a go.

Not only was her dish one of the easiest recipes I've ever made, its rich and delicious flavors instantly brought back treasured memories of dinners I had enjoyed in Italy years ago.

Recipe Summary

  • 16 stalks fresh asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 medium plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded and chopped (2-1/4 cups)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter (no substitutes)
  • 1 9 ounce package refrigerated angel hair pasta
  • ¼ cup shredded fresh basil

Trim asparagus and rinse in cold water. Remove the tips set aside. Bias-slice remaining asparagus stalks into 1- to 1-1/2-inch pieces set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and pepper cook and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes cook and stir about 2 minutes more.

Add asparagus pieces, wine, and salt to mixture. Cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Add asparagus tips cook, uncovered, for 1 minute more. Add butter stir until melted.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta. Return to pan and toss with asparagus mixture and basil.

  • 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans Italian tomatoes or fresh cherry or plum tomatoes (see notes)
  • 3 large basil leaves plus 1 tablespoon chopped basil, for garnish
  • Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Pound pasta of your choice
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1: Cook 1 pound of pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Step 2: In a non-reactive skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add 1 large peeled and crushed garlic and cook until just turning brown.

Step 3: Add 2 (14-ounce) cans Italian tomatoes, 3 whole basil leaves, salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes, stirring periodically with a wooden spoon, until thickened into a sauce. Crush the tomatoes with the back of the spoon and cook until sauce is thick again.

Step 4: Add cooked pasta to the pan and use tongs to toss together. Serve topped with 1 tablespoon chopped basil and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

Angel Hair Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes - Recipes

One of the things I enjoy most about my regular trips to farmers' markets right now is how colorful they are -- especially when I walk by stands filled with sun-ripened tomatoes. They are piled high with heirloom varieties, which can look like Mother Nature's kaleidoscope, with sizes ranging from tiny grape tomatoes to large beefsteaks almost as big as small winter squashes shapes from perfect globes to teardrops, ridged discs to blobs resembling science experiments gone wrong patterns including solids, stripes, and abstract blotches and colors from ivory to pale gold, bright yellow to orange, lime green to deep emerald, and reds of all shades, including some so dark they're almost black.

These are definitely not the tomatoes most of us grew up with. But they are, very likely, the kinds our grandparents knew.

Before the rise of mass agribusiness in the second half of the 20th century, most produce came from small family-run farms. But the need for stability, uniformity, and long shelf life in produce that might be shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles led to the development of hardy varieties that could be relied upon and that offered consistency.

So-called "heirloom" produce helped mark the comeback of the fresh, seasonal, local movement. A term originally applied to certain bean varieties back in the 1940s, and first used for tomatoes in the early 1980s, heirloom refers to specific, anything-but-uniform varieties passed down from generation to generation. They may not look "normal" or survive long trips by truck, but they likely deliver not just wonderful colors, patterns and shapes but also amazing flavor.

I didn't even begin to touch on flavor when I mentioned the kaleidoscopic impact of heirloom tomatoes. But just imagine experiencing that same kind of variety when you open your mouth and take a bite. Some may be tart and tangy others as sweet as a piece of fruit still others full of the bold, true flavor of tomatoes you might dream of. That's why at this time of year, when we serve tomato dishes in my restaurants, we try to feature a wide variety of heirloom tomatoes as much as possible in a single dish: Not only do they look beautiful together, but each bite offers a different yet complementary flavor. Whenever possible when shopping for tomatoes, try to buy the organic varieties.

Try substituting heirloom tomatoes for the usual kind in all kinds of fresh tomato recipes right now, from salads like the classic combination of tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil to even quickly cooked dishes like the pasta recipe I share here. (No point, however in using them for long-simmered sauces like the Tomato Base included in the recipe, since prolonged cooking will even out their flavors and mute the visual impact.)

Enjoy nature's kaleidoscope at your own table!

Angel Hair Pasta With Heirloom Tomatoes, Garlic & Fresh Basil

Angel Hair Pasta With Heirloom Tomatoes, Garlic & Fresh Basil Ingredients

2 pounds sun-ripened tomatoes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons minced shallots

1 tablespoon sugar or honey

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves


1 pound heirloom tomatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 cloves Double-Blanched Garlic (recipe follows), thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

3/4 pound angel hair pasta

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Small fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Angel Hair Pasta With Heirloom Tomatoes, Garlic & Fresh Basil Directions

First, prepare the Tomato Base.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and, near the stove, place a large mixing bowl filled with ice cubes and water. With a small, sharp knife, cut out the core of each tomato and score the bottom with an X. Carefully immerse the tomatoes in the boiling water. When their skins just begin to wrinkle, after about 10 to 30 seconds, remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and immediately put them in the ice water to cool. Drain. Peel the tomatoes, cut in half, and squeeze to remove the seeds. Coarsely chop.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat the 2 tablespoons oil. Add the garlic and shallots and saute just until they start to color, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar or honey, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and thyme. Set aside.

For the Heirloom Tomatoes and Pasta, bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, peel, seed, and chop the heirloom tomatoes following the instructions above for those in the Tomato Base.

Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a clean 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Double-Blanched Garlic and saute, stirring, until light golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the heirloom tomatoes, reserved Tomato Base, basil, and salt. Return to medium-high heat and simmer until some of the moisture from the fresh tomatoes evaporates, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the angel hair to the boiling water and cook until al dente, tender but still slightly chewy, following the manufacturer's suggested cooking time. Drain and, while still slightly dripping, add in the tomato sauce along with the parsley. Gently stir to coat.

With tongs or pasta servers, divide the pasta among individual shallow serving bowls, twirling it to form mounds. Garnish with basil sprigs and Parmesan.

How to make Double-Blanched Garlic

Whole garlic cloves, separated, peels left on

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Near the stove, place a bowl filled with ice cubes and water. Meanwhile, with a small, sharp knife, carefully cut off the tips and root ends of however many garlic cloves you need.

Add a little salt to the water and carefully drop in the garlic cloves. Boil for 30 seconds.

With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic from the boiling water and immediately plunge into the ice water. When cooled, lift out the cloves with the slotted spoon, add them to the boiling water, boil for 30 seconds longer, remove with the slotted spoon, and plunge back into the ice water.

Drain the garlic thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Remove the skins, which should slip off easily. Prepare as directed in the recipe.

Angel Hair Pomodoro

1) Boil about 4 quarts of water and add 2 oz of thin spaghetti (about 1.75″). Check out WikiHow’s tutorial on how to measure spaghetti. Cook for about 8 minutes. Save 1/2 cup of the water and drain the rest. Set it aside

2) While the water is boiling, chop 12 campari tomatoes (firm) into 4 pieces each. Set aside

3) Take 5 cloves of garlic and slice them thinly. There is no such thing as too much garlic

4) The pasta should be in the water now, so, start the cooking the tomatoes. In a pan, add 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil and heat at medium heat

5) Add the garlic and let it brown

6) Add the tomatoes and let them cook for about 10 minutes or until all the liquid has dissipated

7) Add 3 roughly chopped basil leaves, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of oregano, 2 tsp of sugar and 1 tsp of freshly squeezed lime juice

Tomato Basil Pasta (15 minutes)

This tomato basil pasta will surprise you because the amount of flavor you can pack into this in 15 minutes is absolutely amazing! This recipe uses a handful of ingredients so it’s really simple and perfect when you want deliciousness in a hurry.

I have a lot of recipes on this blog but I don’t make them very often because I’m always trying out new things. But this one – is on our table every few days. Because we LOVE the flavors and anything that takes less than 30 minutes to make is a winner for me.

Here’s what makes this cherry tomato basil pasta with garlic such a winner:

  • There is a lot of fresh sweet and tart flavor from the cherry tomatoes
  • The cherry tomatoes are halved and added to the pan and as they burst and soften, they create a sauce for the dish. Reserved pasta water also helps thicken the sauce
  • We are using a lot of garlic in the recipe because we love garlic at home and when its paired with tomato and basil, you don’t need much else
  • Lots of fresh basil added right in the end adds so much freshness in every bite
  • I love using angel hair pasta which is a thinner spaghetti, because the light sauce coats it and it’s not heavy. Because the pasta is so thin, it makes this dish really light

This might seem like a summer pasta but to me it really is an all weather dish because I always have fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil in the fridge. We have substituted cherry tomatoes with whole roma tomatoes sometimes. Cherry tomatoes are definitely sweeter and I love them, but roma tomatoes work as well. Just make sure you don’t skimp on the tomatoes. Toss them up on a high flame first and then let them simmer for a bit till they break down and start becoming saucy.

You don’t need too much technique or finesse while making this super easy garlic cherry tomato basil pasta. Just a whole lotta love and great quality ingredients.

Angel Hair with Roasted Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil

Angel Hair with Roasted Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil makes good use of summer's tomatoes.

This is summer fare at its best: easy, light and not too hot. The angel hair is delicate enough that you won’t feel weighed down, even though you just ate a big bowl of pasta. The mozzarella is creamy. The basil is plentiful and fresh. And the Cherry Tomato Confit, well let’s just call that tomato candy. I don’t know the science behind it, but when you roast those little tomatoes slowly in olive oil with a little garlic and thyme and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, they pop out of their skins and turn sweeter than you can imagine a tomato tasting. Really. I might suggest doubling the Cherry Tomato Confit recipe, because you will want to steal a few before tossing them into the pasta, and keeping the extras at the ready in the fridge will make future you super happy.

Especially tomorrow night when you’re swooning over the bruschetta that took you two minutes to put together.


Olive oil
½ pound angel hair pasta
Kosher salt
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
½ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
Cherry Tomato Confit (recipe below)
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
¼ cup grated parmesan

Recipe directions:

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water with a splash of olive oil for 4 minutes. Drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl. Toss gently with the mozzarella and basil. Pour the Cherry Tomato Confit over the pasta, including the oil in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese over the top, then drizzle a little more olive oil over everything. This is good warm or at room temperature.

Cherry Tomato Confit


1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 sprigs fresh thyme

Recipe directions:

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Put the tomatoes in an 8-by-8 glass baking dish. Drizzle with the oil, salt, and pepper, and mix with your hands to coat the tomatoes in oil and seasoning. Nestle the garlic and thyme among the tomatoes.

Roast 2 hours. Use the tomatoes with their oil tossed in pasta, on grilled chicken or as a topping for bruschetta.

3-Ingredient Creamy Tomato Angel Hair Pasta

To me, it’s a tall swirl of saucy, scrumptious pasta piled on a plate and sprinkled with Parmesan. A little basil to brighten up the color and flavor doesn’t hurt, either. Even better if I have a glass of red wine and someone to share it with! The pasta, that is. Not the wine. Don’t touch my vino, yo.

Pasta is a comfort food in many homes, and served alongside a big salad, it can be a healthy meal, too. As delightful this mounding plate of pasta is, it’s not how I truly eat. I balance my comfort food cravings with a side of greens and smaller portions of the good stuff. Emphasis being on “try.” Heh.

After all, good habits leave you more good leftovers!

Everyone loves a pasta sauce from scratch (and here’s my best recipe), but they probably also love a quick and easy weeknight meal. Around here, that’s definitely the case. Though I used to love spending hours cooking from scratch, the Monday-thru-Friday reality is that it’s just not realistic! Enter: my scrumptious, speedy solution for comfort food in a flash.

Just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes are all you need for this delicious pasta dinner. Choose your favorite pasta sauce (store bought or homemade), and simmer it with some light cream cheese. Boil your pasta and toss it all together – bada bing, bada boom. Dinner is served.

This pasta is perfect for school nights, weekend nights, or any night! Feel free to add whatever seasonings and additions you like, though. I love to serve this with fresh basil and lemon wedges – really amps up the tomato flavor!

How to Store Leftovers

Store this Angel Hair Pasta in the skillet or in a bowl, tightly covered with a lid to prevent drying out. It will stay in the fridge for up to 4 days. It tastes great when reheated.

What to Serve With Angel Hair Pasta

You can serve this dish on its own. It makes a tasty and filling vegetarian/vegan dinner. It will also taste great with chicken, seafood, steak, and roasted vegetables. Here are some of my favorite recipes:

  • Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast
  • Easy Chicken Kebabs
  • Shrimp in Roasted Pepper Sauce
  • Cajun Salmon
  • Healthy Cod Fish Skillet
  • Roasted Zucchini Salad

Video Tutorial

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