What’s better than the garden-fresh flavor you get from end-of-season tomatoes? That fresh flavor paired with high-quality pasta and fresh pesto to give you the perfect light end-of-summer meal!
Sponsored post was written by me on behalf of DaVinci Pasta. The opinions and text are all my own.
Summer tomatoes are always the best. They are so sweet and tasty. Roasting them on the grill gives them a unique flavor that complements the pesto in this pasta dish and really brings out the feeling of summer. I also love roasting tomatoes on the grill in the summer as it’s super easy and means you don’t have to fire up your oven on a hot summer evening. And roasting tomatoes is easy, just toss them with some oil and throw them on the grill in some type of a grill basket. Six minutes later you’ll have beautifully roasted tomatoes.
This is the perfect recipe to add to your everyday meals recipe collection. Read on to learn more about how to make this Roasted Tomato Pasta, or jump straight to the recipe to start cooking!
- This dish is ready in less than 30 minutes, making it ideal for any day of the week.
- The roasted tomatoes, fresh-tasting pesto and perfect pasta make this a mouthwatering dish that will have your dinner guest asking for seconds!
- This pesto gets its special twist from a combination of walnuts, Italian parsley and parmesan. Italian parsley is often viewed as a garnish or extra, but not in this pesto. Combining it with the toasted walnuts really makes it pop, adding a unique flavor to your pasta dish!
- Cherry or grape tomatoes: You can use either type and any color that you like. The flavor will come out when you roast them so use your favorite or whatever type you have growing in your garden!
- Fresh mozzarella: Smaller balls of mozzarella are ideal for this recipe but you could also use a larger piece and cut it up into 1"(ish) cubes.
- Davinci Spaghetti: The base for the dish is DaVinci Signature Spaghetti. DaVinci pastas are made from high-quality ingredients and imported from Italy which gives them the best flavor.
- Italian parsley: One bunch will be enough for this recipe. If you grow it in your garden you'll want to pick about a cup and a quarter.
- Parmesan cheese: I always recommend using freshly grated parmesan.
- Walnut pieces: You can use walnut halves as well, but they grind up a little easier if you use smaller pieces.
- Spices: dried basil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, ground pepper
- Pantry staples: garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar, dark sesame oil
Tips for making roasted tomato spaghetti
I love this dish for busy weeknights because it's ready in less than 30 minutes (more like 20 if you make the pesto ahead of time).
Mise en place (French for everything in its place) before you start cooking is key to smooth recipe preparation!
- Toast the walnuts
- Cut the tomatoes in half and toss them with the oil and dried basil
- Cut the mozzarella balls in half
- Grate the parmesan cheese
Toast the walnuts. The easiest way to toast nuts is on your stovetop in a non-stick pan. It’s way less work than firing up your oven and you can toast them quickly and evenly. Just heat the pan to medium-low heat and toss in the nuts. Depending on the type of nuts, you’ll want to toast them for anywhere from 4-10 minutes. It’s about 5 minutes for walnuts in this recipe.
Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and generously salt the water. Add the pasta and cook until just past al dente (refer to cooking instructions on your pasta as times may vary slightly). I think this gives it the right texture without becoming too soggy. Don’t forget to reserve some of your pasta cooking liquid when you drain the spaghetti! This starchy liquid helps make the dish a little creamy and saucy without adding any cream or extra cheese.
Make the pesto. While the pasta is cooking, add the toasted walnuts to a food processor fitted with a standard blade and pulse it a couple of times. Add the garlic and pulse a few more times. Next, you'll add in the Italian parsley, red pepper flakes and parmesan and continue to pulse until everything is combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil and continue to process until the oil is incorporated. Adding pesto to a pasta dish is the perfect way to add a little sauce without overwhelming the rest of the flavors in the dish.
Roast the tomatoes. Once you've tossed the tomatoes with oil and basil, add them to a grill pan and place it on the grill grates. Roast the tomatoes for about 6 minutes.
Assemble the dish. To prepare this dish, add the pasta to a large sauté pan over medium heat (you can actually boil the pasta in this pan if you have one that's large enough - see notes below). Next, you'll add the pesto and reserved pasta water, stirring to combine. Add the roasted tomatoes and let everything heat up for a minute or two. Divide the pasta among four serving dishes and top with the fresh mozzarella and chopped Italian parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve right away.
Things you may want for this recipe
- Davinci Spaghetti - DaVinci pastas are made in Italy with the finest ingredients, which gives them a great taste and makes them the perfect base for all kinds of pasta dishes.
- Grill pan or basket - I use this basket for grilling all kinds of small veggies. It keeps things like tomatoes, smaller potatoes and even onion rounds from falling through the grates of your grill.
- Food processor - A good food processor is really a requirement for making pesto. I always recommend investing in at least this 9-cup size but if you are really tight on space in your kitchen the 4-cup version will work too.
- Sauté Pan - This is a super versatile kitchen pan and is great for minimizing pots when cooking pasta. If you are going to boil the pasta in it, I recommend using a 4-quart or larger pan.
More pasta recipes
If you are looking for other easy summer pasta dishes check out these reader favorites:
- Creamy Lemon Pasta. While this recipe is easy enough for a weeknight meal, the bright lemon flavor and parmesan breadcrumbs give it a touch of elegance.
- Cold Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken. This dish is great to make ahead of time so you can grab them for an easy weekday lunch or a quick weeknight meal!
Roasted Tomato Summer Spaghetti
- ½ cup walnut pieces
- 1 pint sweet grape tomatoes
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 garlic clove
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about ⅓ cup)
- 1 cup Italian parsley leaves, plus additional for garnish
- 1 cup mini fresh mozzarella balls, cut in half
- ½ pound Davinci Signature Spaghetti
- chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
- Heat the grill. Preheat a grill to medium heat (about 350°F).
- Cook the spaghetti. While the grill is preheating bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling and add the spaghetti. Cook for 11 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water.
- Toast the walnuts. Add the walnuts to a non-stick pan over medium low heat. Toast for 5-6 minutes, shaking the pan periodically to ensure an even toast. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Roast the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes, basil and 1 tablespoon olive oil to a small mixing bowl. Toss to coat. Place a veggie grilling pan or basket on your grill and add the tomatoes. Cook tomatoes for 6 minutes. A few may “pop” as they cook. When done, remove from grill and let cool slightly.
- Make the pesto. Add the toasted walnuts to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a standard blade and pulse 4-5 times. Add the garlic and pulse a few more times. Add red pepper flakes, parmesan and parsley. Pulse until well combined. With the motor running, add the remaining olive oil and continue to process until fully blended.
- Assemble the pasta. To prepare the dish, add the pasta to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Toss in the pesto and reserved pasta water, stirring to combine. Add the roasted tomatoes and heat for 1-2 minutes. Divide among four serving dishes and top with mozzarella and chopped Italian parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
This post was originally published in August 2017. It was updated in July 2022 with some new information and photos. No changes were made to the original recipe.