Nutty brown butter and sweet burst tomatoes turn into a simple, delicious cherry tomato pasta sauce for a perfect quick summer dinner.Print
Brown butter burst cherry tomato pasta
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Global
Nutty brown butter and sweet burst tomatoes turn into a simple, delicious cherry tomato pasta sauce for a perfect quick summer dinner.
- ½lb pasta (any kind works, but I love linguine)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 pint (10oz) cherry tomatoes
- 1oz grated parmesan cheese + more for serving
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a handful of salt (like a tablespoon or more!) and ½lb pasta. Cook until al dente, about 7-8 minutes (depending on the type of pasta).
- While the water boils/pasta cooks, heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Let butter cook until amber in color and you start to see some brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Immediately add 2 tablespoons olive oil (to stop butter from browning too much) and 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves. Cook for another minute.
- Add 10oz cherry tomatoes and red pepper flakes (if using). Increase heat to medium-high and let cook, stirring or shaking pan occasionally, until tomatoes blister and start to burst. This shouldn't take too long - about 5-6 minutes. Increase hit a bit if you feel like it's taking too long. If pasta is not done yet, reduce heat to low and let sit.
- Once pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain. Set pan with tomatoes to medium heat and add drained pasta, ½ cup reserved pasta water, 1oz grated parmesan cheese and a few cracks of black pepper.
- Using tongs, stir and toss vigorously until everything is combined and a sauce forms on the pasta. This won't be a saucy pasta by any means, but you don't want any dry strands either! Add more pasta water and/or a drizzle of olive oil if needed.
- Serve with additional parmesan and red pepper flakes if desired.
- This pasta is best the day it is made, but leftovers can be warmed up easily. Just add a splash of water to bring it back to life!
- Add goat cheese or burrata for extra cheesy goodness.
Ahh summer pasta, is there anything better? Specifically, brown butter burst cherry tomato pasta??
Oh, fall and winter pasta? Okay, fair point. But still!
Per usual, we're in the mood for easy recipes this time of year. Even I, a person who loves to cook more than anything, don't want to spend more time in the kitchen than absolutely necessary. In a few months, I'll be singing a different tune for sure, but for now I really just want more time to sit outside and drink a cocktail.
Enter summer pasta. And again, more specifically, brown butter burst cherry tomato pasta.
This pasta is SO easy. I know I say that about a lot of my recipes (I mean, I work very hard to make these recipes easy!) but this one is really just so simple. Basically just a handful of ingredients and 20ish minutes are all you need for a quick pasta dinner these days.
Brown butter + pasta = match made in heaven
Y'all know I love me some brown butter. It's just butter that's...better. All it takes is a few extra minutes in the pan and you've got this whole extra layer of flavor to anchor this dish. It's a total game-changer.
Just one word of warning: Don't walk away! You want the butter to brown so it gets all toasty and nutty, but take it too far and it'll burn. Keep an eye on it, and as soon as it's an amber color and you've got some brown bits on the bottom of the pan immediately add in the olive oil. This will cool the pan down and stop the butter for a second. If you burn the butter now, it will get too dark when you're cooking the cherry tomatoes and then things will start to taste a little bitter.
So yea, this recipe is easy but not "do it with your eyes closed" easy. Keep them open.
Burst cherry tomatoes
I know it's about time to start thanking the heavens for beautiful ripe heirloom tomatoes, but allow me one more day to gush over cherry tomatoes?
So sweet, so cute, so perfect. I love them in just about anything, but especially love them with pasta as evidenced here, here and (kinda) here!
Making burst cherry tomatoes is as easy as throwing sweet little potatoes into the hot pan with your brown butter and olive oil and letting them go until they start to blister and burst. You barely have to touch them - just let them do their thing while the pasta cooks. The tomatoes that do burst will help to bring the sauce together, while the rest stay together and add texture to the final dish.
This "sauce" comes together in less than the time it takes water to boil and pasta to cook, so this is a definite weeknight staple dish. Yay!
Lastly - we haven't talked about cheese yet! Weird. A little parmesan cheese is really all you need here, but I will absolutely not stop you if you want to add a little goat cheese or even some creamy burrata on top when serving. Delicious doesn't even begin to cover it!
This was dinner tonight and was so delicious will go in rotation. Thank you for developing such an easy, delicious recipe. Would lend to chicken or shrimp for protein, aspersgus or broccoli florets would be a good veggie add. But seriously it’s delicious just as is.
I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Julie! Agree that it's great to add some protein or extra vegetable here too!