Fiery Burst Tomato Pasta

This Italian version of fast food is fun to make, tasty to eat and perfect for a busy workday lunch.  Top tip is to use the ripest tomatoes you have plus fresh basil is best but when we are looking for speed or have limited supplies we either use frozen or dry options which will also work.

We’ve used penne pasta but you can equally use any shaped pasta or even spaghetti if you prefer.  If you are really pushed for time use fresh pasta as it will cook quicker.

This is one of our favourite quick lunch recipes the colours, aromas and taste all combine to make a simple and incredibly flavorful meal in just minutes.

Serves 2


500ml – 1 litre cold water

180g of penne pasta (or other tube type pasta)

20-24 cherry tomatoes

1 crushed garlic clove

1 bunch of chopped fresh basil (or one tbsp of frozen chopped basil)

2 tbsp of olive oil 

1 tsp of chilli flakes

Pinch of salt to taste

Parmesan cheese


Spatula or wooden spoon

Heavy bottom pan

Pan for cooking pasta

Sharp knife

Chopping board


Serving or slotted spoon

Serving bowls

Cheese grater

What to prep:


Add 500ml – 1 litre of water to a pan, bring to boil then turn down to medium heat 

You may want to add a pich of salt and a little extra olive oil to flavour and prevent the pasta sticking together.


Throw in the pasta and cook for approximately 8 minutes depending on packet instructions.

Take the cherry tomatoes and with a sharp knife pierce each one with the tip of the blade so there’s a small slit in the skin.

On a medium heat put the oil into a thick bottom pan, add the garlic and cook until soft but not coloured

Turn the heat up to medium and add the cherry tomatoes, chilli flakes, chopped basil and the salt.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 4 minutes until the tomatoes soften and begin to burst, at this point you can also help them along by squashing them with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon.

As the tomatoes break down the juice will blend with the oil, garlic, chilli and basil to form the base of your sauce.

When you’re ready:

When the pasta is cooked drain in a sieve but try to keep a little of the hot cooking water as you drain the pan.

Turn the pan with the sauce down to a low heat

Add the pasta into the pan with the sauce and stir all the ingredients together so the pasta is coated with the chunky tasty sauce.

If you saved some of the pasta cooking water add two tablespoons at this point and stir into the mix.

After 2 minutes turn off the heat and spoon portions into your serving bowls

Grate the parmesan cheese over the top to taste.

All done! Buon appetito