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Move over homemade mac & cheese. This cherry tomato candy pasta is my kids’ new favorite pasta! We learned the recipe from Samin Nosrat (who wrote the excellent cookbook “Salt, Fat, Heat, Acid“) when she made it on the adorable Netflix kids’ show Waffles + Mochi.
The secret is: roasting the tomatoes first. When you sprinkle on JUST A TOUCH of sugar, all the sweetness in the tomatoes comes alive. Hence the name, “candy”.
You do need a couple of pans to make this candy cherry tomato pasta, but trust me when I say the results are worth it.
How to Make Cherry Tomato Candy Pasta
- Roast the tomatoes.
- Cook the pasta.
- Combine tomatoes and pasta with pesto and a little extra Parmesan cheese.
That’s it! Dinner is ready and it’s a crowd pleaser so get your plates ready because everyone will want to dig in ASAP.
TIP: I don’t always have fresh basil on hand so I swap in pesto. Done!
Cherry Tomato Candy Pasta
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 pound pasta + 2 tablespoons salt
- 1/2 – 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup (or freshly chopped basil plus a dash of extra olive oil)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roast tomatoes. Pour washed cherry tomatoes onto a baking sheet. Slather with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and sugar. Roast for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes start to look charred on the outside or burst.
- Cook pasta. While the tomatoes are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt and follow instructions for making al dente pasta. RESERVE a cup of cooking water when you drain.
- Combine. Pour roasted tomatoes into the drained pasta pot, along with the cooked pasta. Add Parmesan cheese and pesto, then stir. Add reserved water if needed, a little at a time. Or drizzle a little extra olive oil on top.
Just for Fun
When it comes to making fresh food appealing to kids, a few fun facts and jokes can go a long way.
Fun Facts About Tomatoes
- Pretty much all tomato varieties are red although other colors are possible including green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, white, and purple. (source)
- The very first cherry tomatoes are thought to have been developed from seeds brought to Greece in 1818. (source)
- The biggest tomato fight in the world happens each year in the small Spanish town of Buñol. The festival called La Tomatina, involves some 40,000 people throwing 150,000 tomatoes at each other. (source)
Laugh It Up
What did the bowl of spaghetti say to the tomato?
Don’t get saucy with me!
What Goes with Cherry Tomato Cherry Pasta?
Our garlicky sauteed spinach or kale salad with balsamic-maple dressing both go perfectly with this pasta.
And for dessert, you can’t beat cookies. Here are a few of our favorites: