My Favorite Weeknight Pasta Dish

Pasta with Grape Tomatoes

For me, a good weeknight dinner must possess two essential qualities:

  1. It must be relatively quick and easy to prepare.
  2. It has to be tasty enough to make me actually want to cook after a hard day at work. It’s much easier to get motivated if, as the work day ends, I am eagerly anticipating dinner.

My favorite weeknight pasta dish, Pasta with Grape Tomatoes, satisfies both of those requirements perfectly. I have been making this dish so regularly lately that every time I am in the supermarket I pick up a pint of grape tomatoes knowing that I will be using them in the near future. My wife, Sandy, likes capellini and I like spaghetti, so the spaghettini became our little compromise. But, you can actually use any pasta you prefer or happen to have on hand.

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Pasta with Grape Tomatoes

Pasta with Grape Tomatoes Recipe

  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves sliced thin
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pound spaghettini pasta
  • 2 large basil leaves, torn into pieces by hand


  1. Add olive oil and garlic to a large sautè pan over medium heat. Cook until garlic is lightly browned, then add the sliced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  2. Saute the tomatoes until they are softened and have started to release their juices, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of liberally salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente.
  4. Strain pasta and transfer to the sautè pan with the sauce. Add the basil, and toss until completely coated.
  5. Dish out into individual serving bowls and serve with grated Parmagiano-Reggiano.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins

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21 Responses

  1. I was shown how to make this dish with the addition of canned tuna, which might not be so authentic but gives you some protein and it’s great for camping and other situation where options are limited. With the tuna though I would use parsley instead of basil.

  2. I prepared this dish for a dinner party with friends where each person had to bring a meal from a different country or region. I got Italian cuisine. I needed something quick and easy, which this is. Best of all, it was so flavourful and a complete hit!!! Several of the people commented that it was the best pasta they’d had since they were in Italy last year. WOW!

  3. Rarely does my husband specifically ask that I make a dish again. This he asked to have once a week, he loved it so much. I did 1/4 t. red pepper flakes and the kids (6yrs and 2 yrs.) ate it, too! THANK YOU!

  4. Do you know how many calories are in this dish. My daily calorie count has to be 1400 or under and I just indulged in gelato…and veggie chips

  5. YasmineHey Shahad. Wow, the possibilities are ENDLESS. I don’t know where to start from, rellay. It depends on what you have on hand. You could make a simple olive tapenade and serve it with some crackers or toasted baguettes and cheese. Or make a bruschetta with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil. Get some cold meat cuts such as smoked salmon, smoked turkey, and roast beef, make a honey mustard dressing or whatever and serve that with slices of bread. Make sure to make tasty drinks, try sprite or fizzy water with grenadine syrup and mint. I don’t know what you like so I can’t make very precise recommendations. If you want great suggestions, search for cookbooks or recipes about hors d’oeuvre’, which is the type of thing you want.And thank you!

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