This tomato pasta is a quick 15-minute dinner! The no-cook tomato sauce is made with cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and almonds, which give the sauce a creamy texture. You just pop it all in the blender, puree it, and then toss it with hot pasta for a quick and easy dinner full of fresh flavors.
About this time ten years ago I made a tomato pasta that I found in an issue of Cook’s Illustrated. It was a revelation at the time because it was a quick no-cook sauce and the combination of fresh tomatoes with almonds was a pairing I would never have tried on my own. It was an easy pasta dish full of fresh flavor and even now, years later, I still think about it.
Fast forward to earlier this year and I once again tried a new sauce made with tomatoes and nuts, but this time it was cashews. It was a recipe I found on Pinch of Yum and it, too, was a revelation. In this case, unlike the Cook’s Illustrated version (which was more of a tomato pesto with a lot of texture), the Pinch of Yum sauce was impossibly creamy without any real cream. It, too, was a no-cook sauce. At the time, I was so smitten with this easy pasta recipe, I shared it in my weekly newsletter.
So, with a bounty of garden tomatoes on hand, I thought I might take the best of both and create my own tomato pasta dish. I borrowed the 2009 tomato/almond flavor combo from the magazine and the technique of pureeing the sauce until it’s smooth and creamy from the recipe I found online this year.
The result? A creamy tomato pasta full of fresh summer flavors that is ready to go in the time it takes to boil the pasta.
Ingredients for Tomato Pasta
- Bucatini or other long pasta
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sliced almonds
- Basil leaves
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
I love bucatini, which is pasta that is similar to spaghetti but is thicker and hollow inside. Of course, any long pasta like fettuccine or linguini will work for this tomato pasta.
This sauce is all about the tomatoes so if you can get your hands on some garden tomatoes or some from the farmer’s market you won’t be disappointed. If you can’t, I find grocery store cherry tomatoes taste pretty good year-round.
The almonds serve two purposes in the sauce. First, they give it a subtle nutty flavor like nuts in a pesto does. Second, when pureed, the almonds break down and give the sauce a very creamy texture. It’s a great way to make a creamy sauce with no dairy.
How to Make the Sauce
While the pasta is boiling you can prep and make the sauce. Because you’re using the blender or food processor to make the sauce there’s very little prep work!
- Smash the garlic with your knife and remove the papery skin. Pop it in the blender or food processor followed by the tomatoes. If your tomatoes are big, you might want to half or quarter them first.
- Add the basil, parsley, and cheese to the blender or food processor, secure the lid and pulse a few times to break down the tomatoes.
- With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil. Continuing processing until the sauce thickens and is smooth.
- Drain the cooked pasta and transfer it back to the pot you cooked it in. Add the sauce and toss it all together until the pasta is evenly coated.
I like to garnish the tomato pasta with grated parsley and chopped herbs. Serve it up with a big salad on the side and you got yourself a fresh end-of-summer dinner that takes all of 15 minutes to make. That’s a winner in my book.
Happy Cooking 🍅
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More Easy Pasta Recipes
I love easy recipes and I ❤ pasta so combining the two make me a very happy girl. Here are some of my favorite easy pasta recipes or browse my whole Pasta Recipes collection for even more ideas.
- 15-Minute Mediterranean Pasta
- Shrimp Fettuccine with Tomatoes and Feta
- Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic
- 15-Minute Carbonara
This no-cook tomato sauce takes just minutes to make. Almonds give it a creamy texture (with no cream added!) and the tomatoes, herbs, and cheese is a delicious combination. In the time it takes to cook the pasta the sauce is ready to go.
- 12 ounces bucatini or other long pasta
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed (see note)
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 olive oil
- salt, to taste (see note)
- Boil the pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. Place the garlic, tomatoes, almonds, basil, parsley and cheese in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times until the tomatoes are broken down. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture creates a smooth thick sauce.
- Drain the pasta and return it back to the pot you boiled it in (be sure the burner is turned off). Add the tomato sauce and toss until the pasta is evenly coated. To serve, garnish with extra grated Parmesan and chopped parsley or basil.
Raw garlic gives the sauce a spicy kick and I find two large cloves is plenty. If you don’t love garlic reduce it to one clove.
About the salt: I don’t add salt to mine, but everyone’s salt tolerance is different so give the sauce a taste before you toss it with the pasta. Add more salt if you think it needs it.
This recipe was inspired by Pinch of Yum and a recipe I found years ago in an issue of Cooks Illustrated.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 517
- Sugar: 4.8g
- Fat: 20.2g
- Carbohydrates: 70.1g
- Fiber: 4.7g
- Protein: 15.2g
Keywords: tomato pasta, no cook tomato sauce, easy tomato sauce recipe