Smashed Tomato Pasta is a beautifully simple dish that lets the natural sweetness of ripe tomatoes shine through. This recipe involves gently smashing cherry or grape tomatoes to create a sauce that’s both fresh and flavorful, combined with garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil. It’s a perfect summer dish that’s quick, easy, and utterly delicious.


  • 12 ounces pasta (spaghetti, linguine, or your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish


  1. Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. Smash the Tomatoes: While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to blister and soften, about 5-7 minutes. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently press down on the tomatoes, smashing them to release their juices.
  3. Add Garlic and Seasonings: Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper to the skillet with the tomatoes. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant but not browned.
  4. Combine Pasta and Tomato Mixture: Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the smashed tomatoes. Toss well to combine, adding a bit of the reserved pasta water if needed to create a light sauce that coats the pasta evenly.
  5. Finish the Dish: Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the torn basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese. Toss until everything is well combined and the cheese has melted into the sauce.
  6. Serve: Divide the pasta among plates. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves for garnish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

  • Calories: 400
  • Fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Protein: 15g

Prep and Cooking Time:

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • Serves: 4 people

Smashed Tomato Pasta is the epitome of easy Italian cooking, focusing on fresh ingredients and straightforward techniques to deliver a dish that’s both comforting and light. Enjoy this pasta with a side salad or fresh bread for a complete meal.

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