This Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta Puttanesca is made with a thinner “sauce” of roasted tomatoes that clings to the starchy pasta after you toss it all together.
It’s summer dinner perfection, but you can enjoy it anytime of year, as long as you can buy sweet grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes!
If you have larger tomatoes, you can chop and roast them as well!
Note: This post was originally published in August 2016. We have since updated it with metric measurements. Enjoy!
The Perfect Use for Garden Cherry Tomatoes
My parents’ tomato garden will soon be in business! Every year, we get a bounty of cherry tomatoes, with about a pint of them ripening each day. It’s all we can do to keep up, which is a ridiculously good problem to have.
If you find a similar bounty in your own garden—or your local market—try this recipe ASAP. Proof of how awesome it is? We’ve already made it twice between taking the photos you see here and publishing this post.
Traditional pasta puttanesca is made with a tomato sauce, but we make this version with a much thinner “sauce” of roasted cherry tomatoes that clings to the starchy pasta after you toss it all together. Perfection.
Perfectly Balanced Flavors & Textures
Now, I will say that this pasta puttanesca recipe does require a little bit of oven time. (A measly 20 minutes!) But it’s well-worth it. Roasting the cherry tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness, and you end up with a fun mix of textures.
After a short turn in the oven, some of the tomatoes are slightly blistered and wilted, while some are able to still maintain their shape. This results in a combination of intense roasty toasty sweetness and freshness in your puttanesca sauce.
The sweet cherry tomatoes play amazingly well against the slight bitterness of the olives and the tang from the capers.
Combine those flavors with nutty anchovies and Parmesan cheese, and you get summer dinner nirvana. If you’d like to make this vegan/vegetarian, simply omit the anchovies, and use vegan cheese!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle the cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to your preheated oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet (large enough to toss all your pasta in) over medium heat.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, along with the garlic and anchovies. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the anchovies have melted into the oil and the garlic is fragrant.
By now, your water should be boiling. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions, shaving off 1 minute of cooking time. The pasta should be just under “al dente.” Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
To the garlic and anchovies, add the the olives, capers, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes.
The roasted cherry tomatoes really make this pasta puttanesca extra delicious.
Toss in the pasta, and toss everything together for a minute, allowing the pasta to absorb the liquid in the pan. If it looks a little dry, stir in some pasta water, about a 1/3 cup at a time, until the pasta has a silky texture.
Toss in the herbs…
Mix well until the herbs are distributed and the pasta has absorbed the sauce. To make the pasta silkier, add additional cooking water as needed.
And serve this exceptional roasted cherry tomato pasta puttanesca with freshly grated Parmesan cheese!
This pasta puttanesca dish will make you want to plant your own cherry tomato garden this spring!