This pesto pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes is a sophisticated, flavor-packed, and elegant meal sure to please. It features grain-free cavatappi pasta covered in a homemade pesto and topped with roasted balsamic cherry tomatoes. It’s great as a weeknight dinner or pair it with a glass of wine for a fun date night meal.
A fresh & easy dinner idea
Sometimes you just need a back pocket meal that’s flavorful but quick. Looks sophisticated and elegant but took you know time at all. Can work as a casual weeknight meal but also a fancy night dight. Well I have one recipe that ticks all those boxes.
My pesto pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes. It starts with a vibrant, homemade basil pesto. The pesto tops perfectly al dente (and gluten-free) cavatappi pasta – these curly cue noodles catch all the yummy sauce for the perfect bite each time. It’s all finished with sweet and juicy roasted balsamic cherry tomatoes. Yep! So fancy, right?! But this dinner comes together in about 30 minutes. So easy too!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this dish
- pesto, a beautiful combination of fresh basil, nuts, garlic, lemon, and olive oil. I like to make mine homemade (especially this time of year as basil is so abundant). But you can totally buy store-bought too. I like to buy mine in the refrigerated section to make sure it’s super fresh.
- pasta, toss the pasta (I used cavatappi, but use whatever kind you prefer) in that pesto so each noodle is covered in the delicious sauce.
- cherry tomatoes, combined with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and roasted so they burst and become tender. It adds a juicy pop to the dish to balance those rich flavors.
- balsamic vinegar, I like to add a little more on top for extra goodness. I use a higher-quality kind (I picked up at my local artisan olive oil market) so it’s rich and thick. If your is a bit runny, you can use a balsamic glaze too to finish the pasta.
- olive oil, used in both the pesto and roasted tomatoes.
- parmesan cheese, to finish off this delicious dish!
How to make this Pesto Pasta
This dish takes a few simple steps:
- Make the Pesto. This step really only takes 10 minutes, and homemade is so worth the effort! You can also make this the day before so dinner comes together even quicker.
- Cook the pasta al dente. Reserve some of the pasta water and set both aside.
- Roast the cherry tomatoes. In a baking dish, toss the cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until bursting.
- Bring it all together. Toss the cooked pasta with the pesto, adding a little pasta water to create a creamy sauce that coats the pasta well. Top with those bursting balsamic tomatoes.
- Finish it up. Drizzle on some good, rich balsamic (or a balsamic glaze) and a hit of parmesan. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired.
Here’s how to mix it up
- Change up the pasta; You could use a penne, spaghetti, bow-tie or other fun shape! You could also use a filled pasta, like ravioli. I use a gluten-free find (Banza), but use whatever is your favorite!
- Add a protein; A chicken sausage, meatball, or grilled chicken or shrimp would work beautifully!
- Homemade or store-bought; I love a good homemade pesto, but sometimes you want to go really simple with dinner. A good store-bought totally works too! Makes this meal even simpler (another pro tip: if you do want to go the homemade route, make it the day before so this meal comes together even faster).
- Include a side; my hubby always insists we include garlic bread with this meal! Also, a nice green salads pairs well.
Other delicious pasta dishes
This pesto pasta with roasted balsamic cherry tomatoes is an elegant, simple, versatile dish. You need to add it to your weekly dinner menu!
f you make this pesto pasta, please leave a comment below. I absolutely love to hear from you guys and your thoughts on my recipes. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or pin it on pinterest.
Pesto Pasta with Roasted Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes
- 8 oz cavatappi pasta or pasta shape of choice
- 1/2 cup pesto homemade or store-bought
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze for topping
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
Roasted cherry tomatoes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsps each olive oil
- 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a baking dish, toss the cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until bursting.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions, el dente. Reserve some of the pasta water.
Toss the cooked pasta with the pesto, adding a little pasta water to create a creamy sauce that coats the pasta well. Top with those bursting balsamic tomatoes.
Drizzle on some good, rich balsamic (or a balsamic glaze) and a hit of parmesan. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired.