Creamy Tomato Pasta with Herb Breadcrumbs

Introducing my favorite new recipe of the summer: creamy tomato pasta with herb breadcrumbs! This dish has already become a loved classic. It’s simple, rustic, indulgent, and bursting with fresh tomato flavor. I’m using my staple roasted tomato process, cooking them until caramelized with lots of garlic and olive oil. The tomatoes are blended up with a little mascarpone & parmesan for creaminess and flavor. Toss it all together and sprinkle some homemade crispy breadcrumbs on top. SO GOOD.

Creamy Tomato Pasta

Creamy Tomato Pasta

We’re nearing the end of August (I cannot believe it!) and tomatoes are truly at their peak. It’s pretty hard not to be inspired by them right now. I have so many tomato recipe ideas and just not enough time left in the season to share them all!

But this creamy tomato pasta? Well, this one absolutely needed to be shared. It’s a pasta that you can’t help but devour. One that’s simple in preparation and classic in flavor (lots of garlic & herbs). Yet, something feels really special about it.

Maybe it’s the touch of mascarpone in the tomato sauce to give it a creamy, luxurious texture. Or maybe the sprinkle of crispy breadcrumbs that are tossed with fresh garden herbs when they’re hot so they infuse with all the fresh flavor. There’s just something about this recipe that is so very good.

Creamy Tomato Pasta

creamy tomato pasta – the details

The sauce is a blend of slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, mascarpone cheese, parmesan, and some starchy pasta water to thin it out and give it that silky + luxurious feel. The tomatoes are really the star of the show, roasted with garlic, fresh oregano, lots of salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. I’ve made tomatoes like this so many times before. They’re a true staple in my kitchen and really versatile (see this whipped feta dip or this baked rigatoni).

The sauce is tossed with al dente fettuccine over the stovetop until it starts to cling to and coat the pasta really well. I made this recipe with fettuccine, but it would work well with any long pasta shape. After tossing, give your pasta a quick taste and make sure there’s enough salt to bring out the sweet tomato flavor.

The finishing touch is a (very) generous sprinkle of crispy breadcrumbs. It’s an extra step, but so worth it. The contrast between the creamy pasta & crunchy herb-flavored breadcrumbs is simply perfect. And of course, this creamy tomato pasta wouldn’t be complete without lots of garden basil on top!

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Creamy Tomato Pasta with Herb Breadcrumbs

Creamy Tomato Pasta

a simple creamy tomato pasta made with roasted garlicky tomatoes, mascarpone cheese, parmesan, and crispy herb breadcrumbs

servings: 4

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes 
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed 
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • freshly cracked black pepper 
  • 4 oz baguette, cubed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (oregano, parsley, rosemary, etc.) 
  • 1 lb fettuccine no. 6 
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • garnish: fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Add the cherry tomatoes, oregano, and garlic to a large 10” cast-iron skillet. Cover with the olive oil, and season with the salt & lots of freshly cracked black pepper. Toss to combine. Roast for 1 hour until the tomatoes are soft and caramelized.
  2. Meanwhile, add the cubed baguette to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Once hot, add the breadcrumbs. Toast for a couple of minutes until golden and crisp, stirring often. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a large bowl and toss them with a good pinch of salt plus the chopped fresh herbs. Let cool. 
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the tomatoes have about 5 minutes of roasting left, drop the fettuccine. Stir well and cook for 1 minute less than the package’s instructions.
  4. Remove the roasted tomatoes from the oven and let cool for a minute or so. Discard the oregano sprigs. Transfer the entire mixture to a blender. Blend until smooth. Slowly add in the mascarpone, parmesan, and 1 cup of starchy pasta water from the pasta pot, blending until incorporated. 
  5. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot. Pour in the creamy tomato sauce and stir really well to combine. Over low heat, continue to stir for a minute or so until the sauce clings to the pasta. Taste the pasta and season with more salt if needed. 
  6. Serve the pasta with the herb breadcrumbs and fresh basil over top.

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Creamy Tomato Pasta

2 thoughts on “Creamy Tomato Pasta with Herb Breadcrumbs

  1. This was so good! I made it the other night and am craving it again, so am making it tonight too but with penne! I also add red pepper flakes and shallots to the tomatoes before roasting! Yummy! Thanks!!

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