Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta

Photo: Leo Gong; Styling: Dan Brecker

When the temperature climbs, dinner cravings often tend toward light and simple. Make a pasta dish that's packed with the freshest of ingredients, including mozzarella, garlic, basil, and, of course, tomatoes. A little olive oil adds a punch of flavor that rounds out the simple sauce.

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 20 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 589
  • Calories from fat: 46%
  • Protein: 19g
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated fat: 8.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 63g
  • Fiber: 3.7g
  • Sodium: 523mg
  • Cholesterol: 33mg


  • About 1 tbsp. plus 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, halved, seeded, and chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-in. pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup basil leaves, slivered
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tbsp. salt and the penne; cook pasta until just tender to the bite. While pasta is cooking, combine tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, and basil in a large bowl. Add olive oil and remaining salt to tomato mixture.
  2. 2. Drain pasta, add to tomato mixture, and toss. Add salt to taste. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold (as a pasta salad).
  3. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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