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brown butter pasta with cherry tomatoes in bowl

Brown butter burst cherry tomato pasta

  • Author: Mansee
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Nutty brown butter and sweet burst tomatoes turn into a simple, delicious cherry tomato pasta sauce for a perfect quick summer dinner.


  • 1/2lb pasta (any kind works, but I love linguine)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 pint (10oz) cherry tomatoes
  • 1oz grated parmesan cheese + more for serving
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a handful of salt (like a tablespoon or more!) and 1/2lb pasta. Cook until al dente, about 7-8 minutes (depending on the type of pasta).
  2. 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. 
  3. Immediately add 2 tablespoons olive oil (to stop butter from browning too much) and 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves. Cook for another minute. 
  4. 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.
  5. Once pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain. Set pan with tomatoes to medium heat and add drained pasta, 1/2 cup reserved pasta water, 1oz grated parmesan cheese and a few cracks of black pepper. 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Global