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This new version of the classic, Tomato and Basil Pasta, it just what you need if you’re trying to save time or money, and come up with a meal you know everyone will love!

Everything is roasted together, no stirring a pan on the hob, and then blended as a speedy shortcut to heaps of taste.

An oven dish filled with tomato and basil pasta, topped with mozzarella.

Sometimes, nothing but a simple tomato pasta dinner will do. My version is baked in the oven for lots of flavour, no stirring required.

This Roasted Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce recipe really shows off what you can do with a handful of ingredients for those ideal vegetarian family meals.

More vegetarian pasta recipes…

Why you’ll love this Tomato and Basil Pasta recipe

⭐️ Simplicity for a special meal or simple dinner

⭐️ Super budget friendly and healthy ingredients

⭐️ Low effort, maximum flavour

A spoon in a big dish filled with cooked Tomato and Basil Pasta, ready to be served.

How we came up with this recipe

You know I’m forever on a mission to create recipes that have maximum results from minimum effort/cost/time – well I can confidently say that this one ticks those boxes very nicely! (OK, we’re roasting some ingredients initially, so it’s not the quickest ever recipe, but that oven time is still hands-off cooking time.) 

I did attempt making this on the hob before I came up with this method, but it just wasn’t rich enough and it needed stirring a lot, which was way too much fussing for my liking.

I also tried using tinned tomatoes but they weren’t quite right as they were a little sour.

Roasting turned out to be the best option – the garlic really gives a delicious depth of flavour and the basil infuses beautifully during the cooking process – also keeping some basil fresh for at the end lifted the sauce perfectly.

And that addition of mozzarella? Well obviously, you don’t need this if you’d rather not, but it gives an amazing creaminess and unmistakably Italian injection. (If you omit it the the recipe is vegan.)

Tomato and Basil Pasta Ingredients notes

The ingredients for Tomato and Basil Pasta laid out on a counter.

For the sauce:

  • Salad tomatoes – Chop these up into small pieces
  • Head of garlic – I just chop the top off this so it’s easier to squeeze out
  • Pasta – Use what you have in or buy a slightly fancier one for a special meal
  • Mozzarella – I use buffalo in this as it’s creamy and light

How to make Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes

Tomatoes, garlic and basil in a roasting dish, ready to go in the oven for the recipe Tomato and Basil Pasta.

1. Put all of the ingredients into a roasting dish, toss well and bake according to the recipe below. Cook the pasta.

Roasted tomatoes, garlic and basil ready to turn into a rich pasta sauce.

2. Carefully squeeze out the garlic cloves and blend the sauce until smooth. Add remaining basil and balsamic vinegar. Add to drained pasta and top with mozzarella.

Hint: If the sauce goes a little cool after you’ve blended it, you can reheat it again slightly in a saucepan or microwave before add to the pasta.


  • Meat – If you don’t want the recipe to be vegetarian, you can add some meat of your choice in here if you have some ready. Bacon lardons or chicken would work well.


In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat fully by in the microwave or hob before serving.

You may need a drop of water to loosen the sauce up again.

In the freezer This recipe freezes well without the pasta. Just wait until this sauce is totally cold and then put into a freezer-proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating.

Top tip

Fresh basil

It’s important to use fresh basil in this recipe in order to get that unmistakable flavour.


Is this a good pasta recipe for babies?

Yes, it’s perfect. Just omit the salt and freeze portions into ice cube trays or freezer bags for child-size portions.

Can I make this a vegan tomato basil pasta recipe?

Yes – just leave out the mozzarella and you’re good to go.

What is this dish traditionally known as?

It is closely related to the classic Pasta al Pomodoro, which is made with tomatoes, basil and garlic. As usual I have given this my own twist so I am not officially calling it that, but it’s a version of it, I’d say!

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

5 from 18 votes

Tomato and Basil Pasta {with Mozzarella}

This simple but classic dish involves roasting the ingredients to make a rich sauce, making this low-effort dinner into something special. Tomato and Basil Pasta is perfect served up as a family midweek dinner or a simple lunch.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


For the sauce:

  • 650 g Salad tomatoes, Chopped into small pieces
  • 250 g Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Head Garlic, Left unpeeled. Top chopped off
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Tomato purée
  • 30 g Fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 300 g Pasta
  • 125 g Buffalo mozzarella , Drained


  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Bring the mozzarella cheese out of the fridge to come to room temperature.
  • Put all of the sauce ingredients (reserve HALF of the basil for later) into a shallow baking dish. Toss well and bake for 40 minutes or until the tomatoes and garlic are very soft.
  • Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, cook the pasta according to pack instructions and drain.
  • Carefully lift out the garlic (it will be hot!) and squeeze the inside of the cloves out into the pan with the roasted tomatoes. Discard the skin.
  • Blend the tomatoes and garlic until smooth, along with the remaining basil and the balsamic vinegar. (Depending on the temperature of the sauce at this point, you may want to put it in a small saucepan or the microwave to gently reheat).
  • Pour over the drained pasta, toss well and break the mozzarella over (if using).


Tomatoes: You can use any type of tomatoes you prefer here to meet the same total weight of 900g.
Garlic: I used two bulbs as mine were very small!
Nutritional info: The details include the cooked pasta.


Calories: 519kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 19gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 153mgPotassium: 804mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 3018IUVitamin C: 41mgCalcium: 765mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

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  1. 5 stars
    Just served for dinner and it was totally delicious! Went down very well with the kids too. So simple to make but really flavoursome. Next time will make a bigger batch and freeze for an EVEN SIMPLER dinner *chefs kiss*.