Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti
This easy pasta recipe is ready and waiting to change your life! Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti lands on your table in 20 minutes with cherry tomatoes and a luscious-yet-simple sauce the whole family will love.
I am super excited to share this dish with you – a lightning fast weeknight meal that delivers major flavor from simple ingredients – spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, and garlic. The secret to pull this together is an easy emulsified sauce.
Normally, we learn that oil and water don’t mix, right? Unless you throw caution to the wind and rapidly boil them together for several minutes, in which case magic happens. The resulting light sauce delivers the flavor of olive oil in a way that doesn’t merely coat, but clings to the pasta.
In addition to infusing the spaghetti with rich flavor, the sauce enhances the roasted tomatoes and garlic without drowning them, so this dish is a wonderful way to enjoy pasta without feeling heavy or weighed down!
This recipe has been in my back pocket for years, ever since I dog-eared a particularly delicious-looking page in the now-defunct magazine Cooking Light (R.I.P.!). Over time, I’ve adjusted ratios and realized a few efficiencies, like making the sauce in the same pot as the pasta. Less washing up –> always better.
The resulting dish deserves frequent appearances on the dinner table – mine and yours. It’s something the whole family will enjoy!
Roasted Tomato Spaghetti: Ingredients
You’ll just need a few simple ingredients to make this spaghetti, many of which you probably have on hand already:
- Cherry or grape tomatoes: I sometimes splurge on mini San Marzanos, which are so flavorful, or it’s fun to use an heirloom mix, especially in late summer when they’re plentiful!
- Garlic: a few cloves, sliced into thin little medallions. No need to mince or finely chop – yay!
- Spaghetti: obviously! It would also be great with another kind of pasta, so feel free to experiment.
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper: pantry staples!
- Bonus: fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. These aren’t strictly necessary but are easy and add a nice finishing touch.
You’ll also need a sheet pan or oven-safe skillet, a big pasta pot, and some tongs for tossing everything together. Nothing more special than that!
Roasted Tomato Spaghetti: How To Make It
This is a meal that feels totally gourmet but is so easy to make, it feels like a little secret. You’ll follow a few basic steps, and be ready to serve in 20 minutes tops:
- Crank the oven up to 450 and roast the tomatoes, garlic, and a drizzle of olive oil. If you’re worried about heating up the kitchen, take heart – you’ll only need the oven for about 10 minutes.
- While the tomatoes get roasted and wrinkly and gorgeous in the oven, boil water to cook the pasta. Be sure to reserve some of the pasta water before draining – it’s the starchy basis of the magical sauce you’ll make next!
- Next, boil a combination of pasta water and more olive oil in the same pan you used for the pasta. Yes – for this recipe, oil and water do mix, and I promise you’ll love the results!
- Add cooked pasta, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and Parm to taste. Toss it all together, grab a fork, and dig in!
What To Serve With Spaghetti
Spaghetti is such a classic and crowd-pleasing dish; there’s no need to get fussy with the sides! I love to serve this with a simple side salad or veggie and call it a day. Here are some ideas:
- A classic Italian Garden Salad: use any lettuce, and whatever combo of extra tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, and bell peppers you have on hand. Throw together your own Italian dressing while you wait for the water to boil!
- 5-Minute Arugula Parmesan Pine Nut Salad: the flavors go really well with this pasta and it’s also easy to throw the whole salad together in the time it takes water to boil.
- Balsamic Spinach Salad with Sea Salt: same as above!
- Spinach Salad with Nectarines and Pecans.
- Roasted Lemon Pepper Asparagus: easy to pop in the oven alongside the tomatoes – they’ll take nearly the same amount of time.
- Of course garlic bread is always a good idea!
- This is filling as-is, but if you want to add extra protein, it makes a lovely side to chicken breast or a small steak!
If you try making this Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti or any other recipe on the blog, please rate it and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes about 2 pints or 30 ounces
- 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 10 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- fresh basil for serving
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet or oven-safe skillet, toss together tomatoes, sliced garlic, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are wrinkled and just beginning to burst. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While the tomatoes roast, boil a large pot of salted water. Add spaghetti and cook to al dente, according to package instructions. When pasta is done, scoop out 3/4 cup of the cooking water and set it aside. Drain remaining water, set pasta aside, and return the pot to the stove.
- In the now-empty pasta pot, combine 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and 1/4 cup olive oil. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Let it bubble for 4 minutes; this emulsifies the sauce, making it smooth and light.
- After the sauce bubbles for 4 minutes, reduce heat and add the cooked spaghetti back to the pot. Toss to coat, then add the roasted tomatoes and garlic, slivered basil, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss once more, and serve with Parmesan and more basil, as desired. Enjoy!
- The sauce will bubble aggressively while it’s being emulsified, but don’t be alarmed – this is how it achieves such a light but flavorful effect.
- This recipe was originally published here in February 2017, and updated in July 2019 with new photos and clearer, more efficient instructions. I adapted the original recipe from the August 2012 Cooking Light, and keep finding ways to make it simpler over time. 🙂