fusilli with baked tomato sauce

Note: I first made this baked tomato sauce from Nancy Harmon Jenkins in 2007, after being tipped to it by Luisa Weiss, who’d found it nearly a decade earlier in The Best American Recipes 2000. But despite finding it to be “one of the best tomato sauces I’ve ever eaten,” I didn’t make it again for some time. I blame the fact that I was on a homemade pasta kick at the time and the idea of this being dreamiest with homemade fettuccine got permanently linked. So, when I made this — a friend reminded me that she loves it and I realized it had been too long — in the summer 2017, I was shocked to realize that the reality of this dish is exactly the opposite: this is a 25-minute dinner and one of the better ones in the category.

one pound of cherry tomatoes

It goes like this: pour a glug of olive oil in a 9×13-inch dish. Halve a pound of ripe cherry tomatoes and arrange them cut side-up. Stir together some plain breadcrumbs (2007 Deb tells you they should be fresh*; 2017 Deb wants you to know that panko works great here), that you season with garlic, sharp cheese, salt, and pepper and sprinkle them over. Drizzle with more olive oil and bake this for 20 minutes. While it bakes, boil a pound of pasta. By the time it’s al dente, the tomatoes are bubbling with concentrated flavor and lightly browned on top. Mash them lightly with a fork, toss in the drained pasta — that’s right, the baking dish is your assembly pan and serving dish, hooray — a bit more olive oil and fresh basil, turn to coat it all evenly with that same fork and dinner is made.

arrange tomatoes cut side uphalved cherry tomatoesgarlic to crushpecorino cheesecrumbs and cheese and garlicplus oilfusilli is perfect herebubbling from the ovencook your pasta while it bakesfresh basil

This method yields the sweetest, most complex sauce. A perfectly reasonable reaction to trying this is to swiftly realign all of your food priorities to a single one: accumulate cherry tomatoes so you can make this as often as you wish (weekly at minimum) for as long as tomato season lasts.

mash it lightly with a fork

* “I insist that you use fresh breadcrumbs here — that sawdust from a can probably won’t cut it. But fortunately, that’s as easy as grabbing a single cheapo bakery roll from your grocery store, slicing it into discs, drying it in the oven for 10 minutes or so (hey, you’re preheating the oven anyhow) and pulsing it in the food processor. Even the flavor of the most generic roll is miles ahead of the stale, pre-packaged alternative.”

fusilli with baked tomato sauce

Fusilli with Baked Tomato Sauce

While 2017 Deb likes to believe she’s more laid-back in the kitchen than she was when she was a fresh new home cook, afraid of coloring outside the recipe lines, but this is not entirely true. I pretty much only want to make this with fresh, local tomatoes these days but do know that 2007 Deb insisted that the best part was that “you can even make it with those cherry or large grape tomatoes that stay eerily fantastic — I try not to question it — through the winter.” All of this is to say: it works with both but is extra-lovely in the late summer.

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound very ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs, panko works great here
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound dried fusilli (corkscrew) or farfalline (butterfly) pasta
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn or sliced

Heat your oven to 400°F. Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Arrange the tomatoes in the dish, cut side up.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheeses, and garlic and toss with a fork to mix well. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the tomatoes, making sure that each cut side is well covered with the crumb mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then the 1 more tablespoon of the olive oil. Bake until the tomatoes are cooked through and the crumbs are starting to brown on top, about 20 minutes.

While they bake — as in, right away — bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until one minute shy of done. (If you can, try to time the pasta so it finishes cooking about the time the tomatoes are ready to come out of the oven.)

When the tomatoes are done, add the basil and use a fork to stir and lightly mash the tomatoes into a rough sauce. Drain the pasta and immediately transfer it to the baking dish. Add the last 2 tablespoons olive oil and mix well. Serve at once, right in your baking dish.

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122 comments on fusilli with baked tomato sauce

  1. Very interesting idea, I had never thought of roasting tomatoes with breadcrumbs (or using cheese while roasting to create a “sauce”). I bet it would also be amazing to start with some home-made confit tomatoes instead of fresh ones mmmm the possibilities :)
    Simple is better in many cases, and this is definitely one of them.

    And I have to agree with you on blogs, they just give you a better insight into recipes, and a closer look. If only all of our blogs were as beautiful as Delicious Days!

  2. LyB

    That looks simply delicious! Tomatoes, garlic, cheese, perfect! I’ll have to settle for dried pasta though as a pasta machine is still on my “wish” list! I’ll have to add that baking dish of yours on my list as well…

  3. Liz

    Yum! Will definitely try this. I’ve started copy and pasting recipes I find on the web into emails I send myself. I use gmail’s tag function, tag ’em as recipes, and then I have my internet cookbook anywhere there’s a computer! Very helpful.

  4. Lisa

    Oh no! Of course you would recommend something as amazing-looking and right up my alley as this recipe on the first day of Lent when I have given up white carbs! It’s going to be a long 40 days, but now I know what I’ll be serving with my Easter ham this year!!

  5. Uhhh…may I have a rag for my drool?? I love roasting tomatoes but I have yet to attempt doing so with the little ones. It looks simple and delish. Since I am going to be alone next week, I might have to make this dish. Now, how can I convince B to get my the Kitchen Aid food processor I want???

  6. It’s amazing what stale bread can do for a dish, isn’t it? I too love food blogs, particularly for tested recipes like this that can be added to the week day repertoire. Looks fabulous!

  7. Sounds delicious! I’ll be sure to try this recipe. And no need to thank me for this suggestion, which I must insist that you try: — Castellane with Mascarpone and Roasted Grape Tomatoes. (Never made it with castellane, but I can vouch for it being delicious with all kinds of pasta! and I always use less mascarpone than they call for…but only so I can eat a lot without feeling too terribly guilty :)…)

  8. Yvo

    Oh this is perfect! I have some grape tomatoes almost ready to go in the bin. Now I have a way to use them! Too bad I just had pasta last night (corkscrews, natch). Yum yum yum… so basically after done roasting, just toss with the pasta? Mmm!

  9. I can vouch for the deliciousness of this as I am digging into a bowl right now! A friend directed me to your site just as I was wondering what to make for dinner – your description and beautiful pictures were too tempting to ignore. Thanks for a great recipe. Simple, aromatic, sweet and a great use of a bag of drooping cherry tomatoes. Now. Must. Go. Eat.

  10. Nell

    I have this exact recipe stuck on my fridge (but reading 1/3 olive oil), credited to Nancy Harmon Jenkins. I’m always surprised at how good it is, because it seems like nothing much and is astoundingly easy.

  11. Ohhhh yes, that pasta sauce is a marvel. I’ve been making it since I saw it in the book and it’s one of my favorites. (And it is Nancy Harmon Jenkins’.) It truly ALWAYS tastes good. I can’t even imagine how good this must be with fresh pasta.

  12. Erica

    I made this last night. It was delicious. Perfect weeknight dinner. Thanks so much for the recipe Deb (and to the person you got it from…wherever you are!). Next time I am going to add some capers. Mmmm

  13. I keep a small box on a shelf in my kitchen, and all manners of old bread go into it. Crusts, cast-offs, stale buns etc, and when it’s full I take it out and put in through the food processor along with any old crackers or even chips and pretzels that have sat too long in the cupboards. Sometimes the bottom of the cereal bags go into it as well. What comes out is an amazing array of flavor that’s never the same twice but makes the most wonderful bread crumbs that I keep shut up tight in a container. It’s a treasure trove of convenience and goodness.

    Oh Deb?? That recipe looks fantastic! Your site is always beautiful. And delicious.

  14. frightening really – i made something too similar for dinner last night! though i didn’t use fresh pasta. i haven’t made it fresh in a few months, and i miss it. probably because i only eat pasta (for caloric reasons) when it is fresh because it is then, and only then, i feel it’s worth it. I should really get on that. a nice pasta dish is definitely in order and deserved ;). Thanks for sharing. I love your photos. how do you get so much light!? Are you just lucky enough to do these things during the day with lots or sunlight or do you stage the lighting?

  15. deb

    Marce — Indeed. Between her site and 101 Cookbooks, I’m very jealous that I don’t have a graphic designer in house! I too was a little wary of roasting the cheeses for a “sauce” but it all worked out perfectly. Oh, and I added an extra clove of garlic, of course. ;)

    Liz — What, Gmail has a tag function? Where have I been? Sometimes I feel like it’s Google’s world, I just live in it.

    Jenifer from Houston — The Kitchen Aid stand mixer or the Cuisinart food processor? I vote for the latter, though I know that is blasphemy to some. I find I get much more use out of it. (Though speak to me when I actually have the counter space for my KA, this may change!)

    mary — Indeed! I didn’t get to include this “story” but I have obviously been spending too much time watching the Food Network and not enough time watching the better cooking shows on PBS. Lately, I’ve been trying to catch a couple on the weekends, and it’s a whole new world! I am actually LEARNING things from watching a cooking show. Two weeks ago, I learned from Lydia Bastianach that it is more common to put bread crumbs (rather than cheese) on Southern Italian pasta dishes. (I hope I have this right, and do not offend anyway.) I had no idea, but after trying this, I can see why.

    Jocelyn — I slipped over the edge, darling, when I made my own English muffins. The pasta, in comparison, is sane, logical and ridiculously easy.

    CurlyHairDay — That sounds delicious. Anything with marscapone is delicious. Drool. This reminds me, years ago, I had clipped a recipe from the NYTimes (?) called “burst cherry tomato sauce.” For the name, of course. But essentially, you heated oil with some slivers of garlic, threw in whole cherry tomatoes, put a lid on it, and let them cook until they popped. I think Nigella would call this “slutty” as in a very good thing. I must find it, and make it again.

    carla — Yup, definitely a lot more since we bought the machine, and I know how easy it is. Somehow it’s more worth it when it’s fresh. And ridiculously more filling.

    Lily — Yay! A tried-and-true tester! (Whenever I find a new recipe on a food blog, I scroll down in the comments to see if anyone else made it, and if they liked it too, so I find your comment invaluable.) Thank you.

    Nicole — You are absolutely right. I’m evidently losing my ability to do conversions in my head. That said, this is where I admit that I didn’t measure very well, just estimated. I think one could get away with less oil, if they’re worried about an excess of calories.

    Nell — Epicurious does indeed credit it to her. I must find more by this woman — she sounds fabulous.

    Luisa — It was you! I found it on your site, I realized after the point. You didn’t blog about it, but just referenced it after making a pasta sauce I think you liked less. Thank you!

    Patricia Scarpin — I agree! It’s the first recipe I ever used, and I thought I would flit around for awhile, trying more yolk-heavy and other varieties, but it works every time. Next up on the past agenda: replacing some flour with whole wheat, and finding a way to use basil to get an honest, vibrant green pasta, unaided by food dyes. I’ve got plans for it!

    Jennifer Adams — Stunning! Lovely job! The chocolate… I fear for when Alex sees those pictures, as “add chocolate” is pretty much his suggestion for every single recipe.

    Erica — Oooh, capers. I love that idea.

    Kate — Thanks for the idea. I really should do that. Especially considering the scraps and crumbs I always accumulate from my own homemade breads! Brilliant.

    Linda — It wasn’t very light at all (though we do have overhead lighting) and I lightened it quite a bit in a photo editor. (Hence the slighty grainy quality.) Photos on this site are almost always divided into two camps: desserts, which I usually make in advance or have leftovers of so can take in daylight (they always, always look better) or dinner meals, eaten late and photos taken when I was impatient to eat (always need editing). But these are better because Alex took most of them.

  16. Vespa Rosso

    Okay, seriously WHEN are you going to have your own food empire? I’m not sure exactly what your day job entails, but I believe given your wit, talent, insane photography skills, and creativity in the kitchen that there seems to be a huge opportunity for you! Something a la RR, but with WAY less e.v.o.o. :)

    — A Big Fan.

  17. Oh, I am SO going to make this. The boy tends to get a bit cocky about his cooking ability, and I think that this recipe would help him realize that there are two cooks in the kitchen!

  18. Ellen

    I get the feeling that once I try this (probably soon since the recipes you blog about seem to always cut in line in my “to try” pile), this will replace my former favorite cherry tomato “sauce” which basically involved halving them and then sauté-ing them with garlic and balsamic vinegar.

  19. I am always, always, always willing to roast away and imbibe on tomatoes! Though I have not yet convinced my pasta maker to be my friend:).

    I do the same thing! I use a recipe online, or worse, know that I saw it somewhere but FORGOT to bookmark it and am lost in blog-neverland looking for it!

  20. Nan

    Wow look at husbands aunt always made home made noodles..the ones I have tried in the past have been a gloppy mess and not even comparable. I used the machine and this wonderful dough like silly putty formed, they rolled easy and did not bond and stick to the previous cuttings, when I served this up my husband got a little emotional, has not had this favorite of his, beef and noodles since his aunt passed on. Thank you for the inspiration to try just one more time.

  21. rob

    Deb, your choice of pasta and condiment are incredible. Oven roasting is the best thing a cook can do to resuscitate flavour in a typical tomato. I must agree with you, however, that cherry and grape tomatoes usually do have decent flavour au naturel. Thanks also for telling it like it is on the breadcrumb front. Have you ever tried making Sicilian bread crumb topping by taking your bread crumbs and toasting them with some olive oil? It’s a poor man’s parmesan. It’s also the way my wife and I frequently use our leftover/stale bread. I found this recipe:

  22. Oh, excellent — this is going on the menu this week. And Kate, that box of bread scraps is a wonderful idea! Although I’m pretty sure the birds in the back yard are going to complain about this, since stale break has always been their property…

  23. I can’t wait to try this; I love the way those grape tomatoes develop a concentrated sweetness when you roast them, and your recipe really highlights that.

    I will have to point out your pasta recipe to Leland since he just got a hand-cranked machine; thanks!

  24. Since I’m eager to try anything that involves roasted veggies, I made this last night with extra cheese, lots of basil, and whole wheat spaghettini. I was a bit worried the subtle flavours might not stand up well to the ww pasta, but it was DELISH. Thanks for sharing!

  25. LyB

    Oh, thank you so much for this recipe! I made it last night and we all loved it, including my 3 year old son and 6 year old daughter who can both get incredibly picky at times. Thanks again, this will definitely go in my “to make over and over again” list!

  26. I absolutely love your blog, I am a ‘religious’ reader of it!

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    This group is full of great blog friends, or friends of great blog friends… ONLY!

    I think this is going to be great! We NEED your influence!!!

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  27. Katy

    Thanks for this recipe — tried it out last night, and it was a big hit, at least with my husband and myself. The kids (4 & 6) helped cook, but wouldn’t do anything more than taste the barest fragment of a corner of the tomatoes.

    I used the lower amount of oil; 1/3 cup would have overwhelmed, I think, though it could also make it more of a dressing for the pasta. But since we weren’t using a whole recipe of pasta, 3Tbsp worked out fine.

  28. OK, I made this tonight and that was good. Putting all those little half tomatoes face up in the baking dish was a little bit of a zen exercise, but the rest of it was easy enough to make up for that. And dang — yummy. Definitely one for the files.

  29. Lisa in Toronto

    When do you recommend adding the basil?
    I was not sure if I was to add it to the hot pasta and sauce in a bowl, or add it to the tomatoes before the breadcrumbs.

  30. Amy

    Okay, I know I’m almost a year late, but I made this tonight after seeing it linked under the 7-yolk pasta. I didn’t have time to make fresh pasta, but this was delicious over whole-wheat spaghetti! The aroma is still lingering in my kitchen a few hours later, and it is truly a thing of beauty.

  31. rachael b h

    I am a year late also – but I just made this for my husband and myself and it turned out so fresh tasting and delicious. Honestly, I was a little surprised that he liked a pasta that was not dripping in sauce since that is usually the main criteria! We are adding this to our regular list, based on a promise I made to double the bread crumb mixture. :)

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  32. Julie

    Another person that is a year late… you saved a box of grape tomatoes from oblivion. :-)
    I added some prosciutto to this in the last 10 minutes of cooking so it would get nice and crispy. The husband voted that this should be added to the regular rotation!!!
    Thanks very much for your wonderful blog!

  33. Julie

    This is one of my all-time favorite recipes! I’ve made a slightly different version of it for years and it is always amazing. I sometimes make it with romas when they are super cheep in the farmer’s markets or (to make a *really* pretty dinner) with baby heirloom tomatoes. They are so pretty, it’s like eating a bowl of rainbows. This recipe is impossible to mess up.

    Nancy- You throw the basil in at the end when you mix the tomatoes with the pasta.

  34. Annelise

    I made this last night and loved it. I will certainly try it again..and perhaps throw some veggies into the mix. I did have to add a bit of oil to my pasta when mixing the tomatoes in.

  35. Tara

    I just made this and it turned out…less than delicious :(… i must have done something wrong, it tasted kind of bitter

  36. Linda

    This recipe inspired me to to change up my spaghetti sauce recipe. I took my 20 pounds of tomatoes and cored them, sliced them in half and poured olive oil in a cookie sheet with a small lip on it. I sprinkled sea salt on liberally. I roasted them on my gas grill at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. When they have cooled a bit I squeezed out the extra juice and pulverized them in the cusinart. I roasted some sweet onions and garlic in the same manner and added them to the cusinart. At the end I tossed in some basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. I then processed bottles of the sauce in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Yum! And Easy for alot of end of summer tomatoes.

  37. A few years late, but glad to find this recipe tonight. One twist that takes the sauce in a different direction: add in a few anchovy filets before baking and then mix them in with the sauce over the noodles. Lovely.

  38. Lynnie

    I made this last night, and it was delicious!! I even made the pasta using your recipe, and without a pasta making machine….a little more time consuming, especially to cut it, but it still came out awesome! The only question I have is that you mention basil in the list of ingredients, but in your directions I couldn’t find where to add it…I assume at the end? All your recipes that I have tried have been awesome…thanks for making me a better cook and baker!

  39. Joyce

    I made this last night, but with store-bought whole wheat pasta. The store-bought because I’m lazy; the whole wheat because I had to run long-distance today. Anyway, the sauce part turned out really well (what more would I expect?) but the pasta sort of brought it down a notch, both due to its texture and some incidents with the stove and the pot of water. I’ll probably make this with white pasta sometime- I’m sure it’ll turn out amazingly well!

  40. Hey Deb, about to write about this (finally) on my site, and as I read through your post and looked at the Epicurious recipe page, realized that the last step of the recipe is omitted! As it reads in the book, in the final step, you remove the tomatoes from the oven, mash them with a fork, mixing the topping in with the tomatoes, drizzle in the remaining oil and throw in the torn basil leaves, then mix with the drained pasta. :) Do you even read comments this far back? Hi! xo

    1. deb

      Of course I do, lady! You’re kidding me. How funny that we didn’t even miss it. But I will update the recipe accordingly. Can’t wait to hear what charming things you have to say about it.

  41. Jen

    I just made this the other night, but I roasted it with the basil (instructions didn’t say what to do with it, so I put it on top of the tomatoes). And once it was done, I added in a sliced roasted red onion, 2 small roasted zucchini – sliced, and some cooked ground Italian sausage. It was delightful! The sweetness of the roasted veggies against the slight tartness of cherry tomatoes – utterly addicting!

  42. courtney

    I made this dish last night with fresh pasta and although I wanted to love it (I mean, what’s not to love?) it came out dreadfully dry. Did anyone else have this problem? Perhaps next time I’ll try to save some of the pasta water to make it more saucey but, for me, this one was rather a dud :(

  43. Marianne

    I made this yesterday with my last of the season cherry tomatoes but used regular pasta. I agree it was dry but it was pretty tasty anyway. Maybe you really need that 1/3 c. olive oil. I used a few tablespoons of the pasta water but of course it moistened the crunchy topping. I tossed the basil into the pasta and tomatoes as I mixed them up. I also decided to top with a few cubes of fresh mozzarella for serving, but mostly because I had some to use up. I like the idea of tossing in some onion and zukes for more veggies as well as moistness. Will try that next time.

  44. Kimba

    with the weather warming up in philly (50s, almost tropical compared to the blizzard of 3 weeks ago), I was browsing your recipe list and this jumped out at me. I added some fresh chopped buffalo mozzarella and basil upon plating and OH MY GOD. spring/summer on a plate. going back from seconds now!


    Preparing this right now. Will advise outcome. Nephew graduating from HS next month and requested all-Italian fare, so I’m practicing. Cooking for 50 will be challenging, but this child is so worth it.


    OK. I did NOT have pecorino on hand so went with all Parmigano-Reggiano. Wow, wow, wow! I will definitely sprinkle one additional tablespoon of olive oil the next time. I’m truly impressed. Thank you.

  47. Kelsey

    Just made this and LOVED it. so easy and a great way to use cherry tomatoes ( can never seem to find a way to use a whole pound) I used a parm/asiago/romano blend from trader joes . I love how the cheese and bread that fell between the tomatoes got all goey and crispy. YUM. Just discovered your site and am totally in love. Now im off to make your pop tarts :)

  48. Liesel

    I think this would be DELISH schmeared on a crusty, rustic grilled pizza, maybe with a few onions or leeks and prosciutto thrown on and a tad more melty cheese. Tad. I will try tonight…!!

    P.S. Just made a batch of oven-dried cherry tomatoes, same idea, longer in the oven, roast w/garlic and herbs, no crumbs/cheese. Each morsel is like a kick of major pizza flavor in your mouth! Willy Wonka should have been so clever.

    P.P.S. I let the halved tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, herbs, s&p sit in a bowl together while waiting for oven space to open up. When I’d finished putting the ‘maters on the pan, the juices left over in the bowl were like the MOST divine salad dressing I’d ever tasted! That was an accident, but one that went into an empty jar for my salad later :). Why has this never occurred to me? Ripe tomato juice is a perfect blend of sweet and acid for adding to dressings like that.

  49. Delicious! I made this recipe last night and served it with poached eggs instead of pasta … fantastic combination especially with the crunch of the breadcrumbs! Thanks for the fantastic recipe … cheers from my small BKLYN kitchen to yours!

  50. sarah

    I made this for a house full of people this weekend and it was amazing. Made everyone forget about Thanksgiving just a few days earlier!

  51. Kim

    I may be naive to cooking pasta. But do you cook the homemade pasta or do you just use it as is. I have never made it before. Please and thank you.

  52. Cookin’ in the OC

    Yummy….exactly as written. Full disclosure, used dried basil instead of fresh (sprinkled on tomatoes before cooking) and used tomatoes that were ready for the garbage bin. This preparation saved the tomatoes!

  53. Allieb

    yum, made the tomato part this evening and served it over polenta with roasted salmon! Those 1 lb crates at the market are so enticing, yet I never seem to finish them before they go bad. Not this time! I used a handful for salad a few days prior, and the rest for this dish. Sprinkled fresh basil over them right out of the oven. The slicing is a bit time-intensive, but the rest is easy peasy, and delicious!

  54. jmarie

    this was so awesome! i used a random assortment of tomatoes (a couple heirloom, some roma) from the ‘ugly’ bin at the farmer’s market. i also roasted some diced zuchinni and tossed that in after roasting the tomatoes. although i just served this over store-bought pasta (delicious!), i think it would be great served with eggplant or chicken parmesan.

    thanks for another fabulous recipe deb, i will definitely make this again. it’s perfect for entertaining or a low-key night at home :)

  55. christina

    this is one of my all-time favorites for easy and delicious meals. I make it at least once every two weeks. Thanks.

  56. Samantha

    This recipe is one that I keep coming back to again and again. Very inexpensive,but oh so delicious. Thank you for all your fantastic recipes and I wish you nothing but the best!

  57. Yael

    Made this sauce for dinner with friends (used dry whole wheat Conchiglie pasta). A week after that dinner we meet again and they told me “they cannot stop thinking about this sauce and that it is the best pasta dish they have ever eaten”

  58. Shellipp

    This has become one of our all time favorites and great for dinner with friends. Minor changes – adding the Parmesan at the end rather than in the oven – the result was lighter. make sure you flour the pasta sheets well between stages, this makes the process so easy as they don’t stick together. Matching a wine to this turned out to be a huge challenge – I’m no great connoisseur, but everything we tried just tasted so wrong until we came across an Italian semi-dry bubbly that worked perfectly. enjoy!

  59. i

    One of my favorite recipes on your site! According to the original recipe, the final instructions should be:

    “When the tomatoes are done, add the basil and stir vigorously to mix everything into a sauce. Drain the pasta and immediately transfer it to the baking dish. Add the remaining olive oil and mix well. Serve at once.”

  60. Cathy Fennell

    Loved this. So flavourful. Made the pasta in my Cuisinart and used the Kitchen Aid pasta attachment to roll it. I liked the homemade pasta recipe better than the one I have been using for years. Added the basil which is called for in the original recipe by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. Two of us managed to eat it all, so we would have to double the recipe for company, or behave ourselves.

  61. Karly

    Just wanted to note this is one of my favorite recipes! I add some anchovies to the bread crumb mix (and don’t add salt) and roast it with the tomatoes, I also tend to use Parmesan cheese and Panko bread crumbs and am very generous with the basil at the end. Delicious every time and such a quick and easy dinner to make.

  62. Anna

    Made this sauce the other night for 6 people. Doubled the recipe and it was a hit! I sauteed shrimp with garlic, onion, little white wine and combined the two over angel hair pasta. It was so delicious! I think the breadcrumb mixture on top is what makes it so special and different.

  63. Laura

    I’ve been reading Smitten Kitchen for years, but rarely (if ever) have posted a comment. But this is one of my weekly go-to recipes, so I had to rave! I have been making this for at least seven years now and never grow tired of it! For the past few years, I usually make it with zoodles instead of pasta (in an attempt to be slightly healthier, haha), and it’s one of my favorites! Thanks, Deb!

  64. Cordula

    Ok, this might be a very dumb. strange question, but I have a huge basket full of heirloom tomatoes from the market, but no cherry tomatoes… can I still try to make this? And if so, do I need to change anything, It looks so delicious !!
    Thank YOU !

  65. Marilou

    I can’t believe I finally discovered this gem 10 years after you posted. It is a fabulous recipe! I’ve made it 4 times in the last 3 weeks! I added roasted chicken once and last night some sautéed shrimp, onions and mushrooms!
    I add some of the pasta water.
    Love this recipe, Deb, and grape tomatoes are great all year. I’ll be making this all winter!

  66. Heather

    I came across a version of this years ago in Diane Rossen Worthington’s Seriously Simple. It’s one of my favorite pasta dishes. The leftovers make a great pasta salad for lunch the next day. I like it with lots of tomatoes so I do 3/4 pound of pasta to 1 1/2 pounds of cherry tomatoes.

  67. If the main point of baking the tomatoes in the oven is browning the topping, would it be possible to avoid using the oven by microwaving the tomato element of the dish – except for the breadcrumbs, which could be toasted in a frying pan?

    In a prolonged heatwave like the one we’re having in the UK, oven cooking really doesn’t appeal!

  68. If the main point of baking the tomatoes in the oven is browning the topping, would it be possible to avoid using the oven by microwaving the tomato element of the dish – except for the breadcrumbs, which could be toasted in a frying pan?

    In a prolonged heatwave like the one we’re having in the UK, oven cooking really doesn’t appeal!

  69. Maria

    Made this last night and it was AMAZING. SO easy for a weeknight meal. whole family loved it. this will be on high rotation in our house while the tomatoes are in season.

  70. Laura Belle

    I made this today – so easy and delicious! Quick question – can you freeze this? Would it taste funny/pasta be too limp after reheating?

  71. Oakley Day

    Made this tonight with store bought tomatoes and I can’t wait until the ones in my garden are ripe! The 6 year old went back for more twice and even my 3 year old cleaned her plate. Great summer dish!

  72. Libby

    I made this with cracker crumbs (round butter crackers, about half a stack) instead of bread crumbs. It was great! It will definitely go into our summer rotation.

  73. H C Molloy

    Just wanted to share that I made this using a little more cheese/panko topping and then I let it cool after roasting and refrigerated it with the intent of using it as the start of a pasta salad the next day. Next day: I’m by myself and it’s too hot to boil a big pot of water, so I cut a big intact square out of the pan and made myself a SANDWICH with it. Toasted pumpernickel, roasted tomato and crispy cheese/panko, sliced hard boiled egg and some mayo. YUM! Highly recommend!

  74. mt

    Delicious and easy. I mistakenly stirred tomatoes in the baking dish with the crumb/garlic/cheese mixture, but it didn’t seem to cause any complication.

  75. Anne

    Let me just take this opportunity to THANK YOU for teaching me to roast cherry tomatoes. They are amazingly flavorful and their addition has improved many a meal. Haven’t made this recipe since I quit cooking with oil a few years ago, but will try it this week. I will use broth instead of oil which works terrifically well with most recipes and maybe will here.

  76. Stacy

    Just made for 2nd time in 2 weeks with tomatoes and basil from our garden. Luscious yet light – to quote my son, “This tastes like summer!” Thank you for this keeper!

  77. I second the question about using tomatoes other than cherry tomatoes… what do you think? Would it work? I made this recipe circa 2011 and just found it again on your site (love me that Surprise Me! Button) and wondered it’d worked with my garden tomatoes (that still need to ripen some in the sill because damn squirrels! Let a tomato turn red and it’ll have a big ol bite out of it!)

      1. I made this last night with garden tomatoes. Worked great. It seemed like my tomatoes had more surface area than the recommended cherry tomatoes once cut, so I doubled the topping. Worked great!! Extra breadcrumbs and cheese never hurt. Not sure how many lbs of tomatoes I had though. I just used as many as covered the bottom of the 9×13 dish. Thanks!

  78. JV

    Fast, easy, and delicious! Added some steamed asparagus for more veggies. Can’t wait to try anchovies as recommended above. Going into rotation!

  79. Grace Friedman

    In case anyone was curious, I made this vegan-style for my SIL. I just upped the amount of bread crumbs, and went a little heavy on the salt. I think it was very good, but i wish i had had some good parm to sprinkle on top of mine.

  80. J Davis

    This was so yummy! Fresh local tomatoes and basil from the farmers market. I saved a cup of pasta water that I added while stirring the pasta & basil into the tomatoes. I probably used 3/4 C of that water.

  81. Charlene Bongiorno Stephens

    So great to see this recipe here. My family has been making a version of this for years. Roman chef Paola DiMauro made it popular decades ago. And you’re right, it’s easy and delicious. It’s my summertime go to. But I really like your idea to mix it all’on the baking pan! Preserves every delicious morsel of the flavored oil and tomatoes. Thanks for spreading this authentic Italian meal to everyone!!

  82. Alison

    Loved this dish! Had several overripe tomatoes from my neighbor’s garden that I used and they were perfect. I brown some chicken thighs, cut them and finished them with the tomatoes – another great one pot meal! Family loved this one. The tomato flavor really makes it!