Easy Burst Tomato Pasta

This Easy Burst Tomato Pasta was one of the very first dishes I made on my own without a recipe. It’s very riffable, very forgiving and you can make any little tweaks you want. It’s super simple to make, like really there’s about 3 steps total; it uses very basic and very few ingredients, most of which are pantry pulls; and it comes out super FRESH and silky and delicious! It’s perfect for a summer afternoon after a farmer’s market, or for a cozy winter night when all you want is some warmth and sunshine. Try it out and don’t be afraid to make it your own!

Burst Cherry Tomatoes with spaghetti

How to Make Burst Tomato Pasta Sauce

So this process is super simple. First make the pasta.. simple enough right! Next is the sauce. My choice of pan here is usually a stainless steel skillet or a nonstick pan. To the heated skillet with a little bit of oil, you’ll add the onion, garlic, tomatoes and salt. Once that’s all cooked together, melt in the butter and some pasta water if it’s not as saucy as you’d like. Add the pasta to the sauce, let the flavors get to know each other and you’re done! That’s it! Very simple and Very hard to mess up. 

In terms of timing, the most efficient order of operations would be to start the water boiling, then prep your ingredients (chop onion and garlic and wash/chop tomatoes), and then once the pasta goes in the boiling water start on the sauce.

white wood table set with wine glasses of rose, two plates of burst tomato spaghetti and napkins

Customize this Pasta Sauce

There are many ways to make this your own version of an easy Tomato Pasta dish. To start off you can use any variety of tomato you want. For roma or beefsteak tomatoes, just roughly chop them up into 1-2 inch pieces. You can use any type of pasta, too. You can sub in onion powder and garlic powder if necessary. Try adding fresh or dried herbs like basil, parsley or sage. Or add in a splash of cream at the end for an even creamier sauce. You really can’t go wrong with any of these additions.  I swear every time I make this it comes out a little different, always amazing though.

This can totally be a full meal for a pasta lover like myself, but for a more well-rounded meal serve with a side of grilled chicken, steak or roasted chickpeas and a roasted green veg like broccoli. You could also add in any vegetable you want, like cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini or corn, just to give you a few ideas!

The options here really are endless, but don’t feel overwhelmed!! Try out this recipe as is first and then when you come back to it, try one of the tweaks suggested above!

Thanks so much for stopping by! If you make this recipe or have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment below or tag me @annietortellini on Instagram!

Burst Cherry Tomatoes with spaghetti

Easy Burst Tomato Pasta

Easy, simple and fresh tomato pasta that takes no time at all
Servings: 2
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins


  • ½ lb short pasta plus 1 C reserved pasta water
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes or 2 C chopped roma tomatoes
  • salt + pepper
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh basil optional for topping
  • parmesan cheese optional for topping


  • Boil a pot of salted water for the pasta.
    When water is boiling, add in the pasta and cook until al dente.
  • Prep the sauce ingredients: chop onion, mince garlic, wash/chop tomatoes (for roma tomatoes - roughly chop into 1 inch pieces, for cherry tomatoes - I like to chop the bigger tomatoes in half but leave some whole).
  • Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and add 1 Tbs olive oil. Once the pan and oil are hot, add onion, garlic, tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Stir frequently and cook until the tomatoes start to soften.
    Watch closely here. If the pan gets too hot too quickly, I'll add some pasta water to cool it down and keep everything from burning.
  • Once the tomatoes are soft, try smashing about ¾ of them against the pan with the back of the spoon, letting their juices out to create a sauce.
  • Add butter and then add the cooked pasta to the pan, along with a little pasta water if it's not saucy enough, and mix everything together.
    After 2-3 minutes, turn of the heat, spoon into bowls and add basil and parm if using!
Course Main Course, Pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword 20 Minutes, Meal Prep, Summer, Vegetarian

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