Laura The Gastronaut > Recipes > Lunch & Dinner > Burst Tomato and Basil Pasta with Salami

Burst Tomato and Basil Pasta with Salami

August 16, 2021 | Jump to Recipe | This post may contain affiliate links.

Burst Tomato Sauce Pasta with Basil Recipe

Do you have a large quanity of small tomatoes taking over your kitchen counters? Or maybe your just a big fan of those cute little red guys? Either way, you're in the right place because this burst tomato sauce pasta is amazing! Oh, and it's so simple and quick to make. The extra toppings pair so well with the sauce. It's quick enough to prepare for a weeknight, and it's also fancy enough to make it a weekend dinner.



If you've never made burst tomato sauce before, you have to try it! It's really as simple as throwing a bunch of cherry tomatoes into a pot and letting the heat work its magic. The tomatoes will first begin to sweat, and then some of them will start to burst (hence, the name). This pasta is so versatile. I've eaten with just the noodles and the sauce and also with alll the toppings! You just really can't go wrong.


Olive Oil: Olive oil adds great flavor and helps improve the texture of tomato sauces.

Garlic: We're making pasta so we gotta throw in some fresh garlic cloves.

Cherry Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are the perfect size for this pasta. They burst when heated which creates sauce. They basically do all the work for you!

Red Crushed Pepper: Red crushed pepper tastes great in tomato sauce and adds in some spice.

Sugar: A very small sprinkle of sugar in the tomato sauce will cut the acidity of the tomatoes creating more balanced flavors.

Pasta: You can use pretty much any type of of pasta here, but my favorite is garden rotini- the twirly colorful pasta.

Toppings: There are so many options of toppings for this pasta. My favorite are feta, fresh basil leaves, salami, red onion, and kalamata olives.


In a large pot, oil and garlic are cooked together on medium-low for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. I like to put the oil and garlic into the unheated pot and allow the oil and garlic to heat up together. This prevents the garlic from burning.

The cherry tomatoes, salt, and pepper are then added into the hot oil. Allow the tomatoes to cook for about 5 minutes. During this time, the tomatoes' skin will begin to wrinkle, peel, and may begin to pop.

Add in the red crushed pepper and pinch of sugar. Turn the heat down to low and let the tomatoes cook for about 15 minutes more. During this time, I like to take the back of a wooden spoon, and pop the tomatoes that haven't popped yet. Have you ever bitten into an un-pop cherry tomato while eating dinner. It's fun, but it's messy. If you want to prevent tomato juice from getting all over your dining room, make sure all of the tomatoes have bursted. Ensuring all of the tomatoes have bursted will also make it more saucy.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions until desired tenderness, and drain. Keep about 1/4 cup of pasta water in case you want to thin out the tomato sauce.

Scoop some pasta noodles on a plate and spoon some tomato sauce over the noodles. Top with your desired toppings. I like fresh basil, salami, red onion, feta, and kalamata olives. Enjoy!

Burst Tomato Sauce Recipe


Are cherry and grape tomatoes interchangable in this recipe?
Yep, you can! But keep reading.. Cherry tomatoes are named because they are round like a cherry. They have thin skins and lots of water inside of them. This makes them great for this recipe because the thin skins allow them to burst easily and the high water content makes it saucy. Cherry tomatoes are really juicy and sweet. Grape tomatoes are named because they are oblong like a grape. They, on the other hand, have thicker skins and less water. In this recipe, you may have to force more to burst and add in a little pasta water to get the correct consistency. Grape tomatoes are also not as sweet as cherry tomatoes.

Why do you add sugar to tomato sauce?
With cherry tomato sauce, you may not even need the sugar because they are sweeter than a typical tomato. I still prefer to add just a pinch of sugar to cut down on the acidity of the tomatoes. This gives a great sweet acidic balance. After cooking the tomatoes down, taste the sauce and see if you think it needs some sweetness! I will note here though that the sugar doesn't actually decrease the acidity since the acids in tomatoes actually do not have a reaction with sugar. The sugar simply just covers it up.

Why do you cook the burst tomato sauce for about twenty minutes?
I felt like the twenty minute cook time gave me the best tasting sauce with the best consistency. Twenty minutes gives the tomatoes enough time for most of them to burst on their own. The sauce simmers for a good amount of time so the flavors blend, some of the liquid evaporates leaving a great consistency, and you still can taste the freshness.

Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta with Salami

Burst Tomato & Basil Pasta with Salami

This burst tomato pasta is so simple and easy! The fresh basil, salami, feta, red onion, and kalamata olives really makes this pasta perfect for any night of the week.

By Laura Bullock | Laura The Gastronaut

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings


• 2 Tablespoons olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 pints (22 oz) cherry tomatoes
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon red crushed pepper
• Pinch of sugar
• 8 oz dried garden rotini pasta
• 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
• 4 oz dried salami, chopped
• 1/4 red onion, diced
• 20 kalamata olives
Fresh basil leaves


1. Cook olive oil and garlic in large pot over medium heat until garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the whole cherry tomatoes, salt, and pepper to the pot with the oil and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. During this time, the tomatoes' skin will begin to wrinkle, peel, and some tomatoes may begin to burst.
3. Turn the heat down to low and add in red crushed pepper and sugar. Continue to simmer the tomatoes for 15 more minutes. During this time, use the back of your spoon to pop all of the tomatoes that haven't bursted yet.
4. Meanwhile, boil the pasta in salted water according to package directions until desired tenderness. *Reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta water in case you want to thin out your pasta sauce.* Drain the pasta.
5. Adjust seasoning of the tomato sauce. Optional- add pasta water to the tomato sauce by the tablespoon to achieve desired consistency.
6. When ready to serve, split pasta between plates and spoon tomato sauce over. Top with crumbled feta cheese, chopped dried salami, diced red onion, kalamata olives, and fresh basil leaves.



Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are preferred for this recipe, but you can also use other small tomatoes such as grape tomatoes.

Toppings: I have my favorite toppings for this pasta listed, but you can add any type of cheese, vegetable, and meat to this pasta! I also really love goat cheese as a topping.


Let me know by leaving a comment below and sharing on Instagram. Tag @laurathegastronaut and hashtag #laurathegastronaut.

Category: Lunch & Dinner, Pork Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: burst tomato, pasta recipe, burst cherry tomato sauce


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August 16, 2021 by Laura Bullock

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