Sweet and juicy roasted tomatoes stirred through garlic herb spaghetti and mixed with Parma Ham is such a simple and classic pasta dish. Roast the tomatoes ahead of time and then heat them up with the spaghetti when you are ready to eat it - this pasta with tomatoes and basil is an easy weeknight meal that is bursting with flavour.
This is hands down my favourite end of summer pasta dish. It's a great way to use up the bounty of great value tomatoes that are available at the supermarket (or in your garden if you are growing them) and you only need a few ingredients.
What really takes this simple pasta dish to the next level though is some chopped and cooked Parma Ham and shallots stirred through it and it's one of our favourite Parma ham recipes.
- Pasta - Any pasta will work here, but we used linguine. You could use pasta shapes like penne or fusilli, but we wouldn't recommend anything smaller like macaroni because it would get lost in the sauce.
- Cherry tomatoes - Make sure these are juicy and ripe. Roasting them does bring out the flavour of tomatoes, but the riper the better. You could use larger tomatoes if you don't have cherry tomatoes.
- Olive oil - Try to use the best quality olive oil you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference.
- Balsamic vinegar - This compliments the tomatoes so well and adds an extra touch of sweetness. Like the olive oil, try to use the best quality you can, as the cheaper brands tend to be a bit watery.
- Garlic - Freshly crushed is best. Crush it in to almost a paste, so there is even distribution in the sauce. You can use frozen garlic or from a tube to save time if you prefer.
- Lemon - This really lightens the pasta up. Just use juice rather than zest though, because you don't want it to be over powering.
- Fresh basil - The perfect herb to go with tomatoes.
- Sea salt and black pepper - Generously season.
- Shallots - This adds a nice sweetness that compliments the tomatoes. You could use a brown or red onion if you prefer.
- Parma ham - Any ham will work in this, but this has the best flavour in our opinion.
- Pine nuts - These add a lovely crunch to the finished dish.
- Parmesan - You don't have to add cheese, but any pasta dish is taken to the next level with a little parmesan in our opinion.
- Pasta water - Adding starchy pasta water (just 100ml is enough) to a fat like olive oil will create an emulsion and this gives a really silky smooth sauce and helps it cling to the pasta. Make sure you scoop out the water just before draining, as this ensures that it is nice and starchy.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Tomato and Basil Pasta with Parma Ham - Step by step
One: Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Add the tomatoes to a roasting pan along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 crushed garlic cloves, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar and mix well. Put in a the oven for 30 minutes.
Two: 12 minutes before the tomatoes are ready, put the pasta in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes and then drain.
Three: Add a little oil to a pan and add the shallots and chopped Parma Ham. Gently cook for 3-4 minutes.
Four: Add the rest of the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and fresh basil to the spaghetti and then add the cooked shallots and Parma ham and the cooked tomatoes and mix well.
Five: Transfer the linguine mixture to a large bowl and then top with parmesan, pine nuts and a little extra fresh basil.
Health benefits of tomatoes
Because of the tomatoes, this dish is bursting with goodness. Tomatoes, which are mainly a carbohydrate with some fibre, are packed full of vitamins, including beta-carotene (which becomes vitamin A when consumed), vitamins C and E, and some B vitamins and vitamin K. They also contain some calcium and magnesium.
Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, which has been shown to be associated with lower risk of stroke and heart disease. Tomatoes also contain a compound called lycopene, which gives them their red colour, which research shows has the potential for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
If you want to bulk this meal out a bit, then serve it with some garlic bread. Either buy some ready made, or make your own easy garlic bread by cutting up some French stick and spreading it with a mix of butter, crushed garlic and dried herbs. Then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. Why not try our Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread?
You could also keep it simple with a big green salad. The key to an epic green salad is to use a variety of greens, like romaine, spinach, kale and rocket. You want leafy greens, but crunch too. Then you need the perfect dressing. Why not try our Lemon Vinaigrette, Honey and Mustard Dressing or Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette. You could also try our Grilled Little Gem Salad, or Cucumber and Radish Salad.
This parma ham pasta is best eaten straight away, however if you do have leftovers then they can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge until the next day. To reheat, simply add a little oil in a frying pan and heat through.
Frequently asked questions
If you use your favourite gluten free pasta and make sure that there is no cross contamination, then this is a delicious gluten free meal.
Because it's an easy way to make the sauce really silky smooth, with no extra effort.
• Add some extra sweetness by drizzling some extra balsamic over the spaghetti before serving.
• If you don't want to cook the Parma Ham, then just curl the slices up and place on top before serving. The shallots could be roasted at the same time as the tomatoes.
• Oregano is a nice addition to the tomatoes before they are roasted.
• Mix things up and add some soft goats cheese to the dish isn't of Parmesan.
More pasta recipes
Roasted Tomato and Basil Pasta with Parma Ham
- 140 g (5 oz) Linguine
- 20 Cherry tomatoes - halved
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 0.5 Lemon - (juice only)
- 1 cup Fresh basil - finely chopped
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 4 Shallots - diced
- 4 slices Parma ham - chopped
- 2 tablespoon Pine nuts
- 20 g (0.25 cups) Parmesan - shaved
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C(fan)/400°F/Gas 6.
- Add 20 Cherry tomatoes to a roasting pan along with 2 tablespoon Olive oil, 2 Garlic clove, 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper and 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar and mix well. Put into the oven for 30 minutes.
- 12 minutes before the tomatoes are ready, put 140 g Linguine in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes and then drain.
- Add 1 tablespoon Olive oil to a pan and add 4 Shallots and 4 slices Parma ham. Gently cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon Olive oil, 2 Garlic clove, juice of 0.5 Lemon and 1 cup Fresh basil to the linguine and then add the cooked shallots and Parma ham and the cooked tomatoes and mix well.
- Transfer the spaghetti mixture to a large bowl and then top with 20 g Parmesan, 2 tablespoon Pine nuts and a little extra fresh basil.
- Add some extra sweetness by drizzling some extra balsamic over the spaghetti before serving.
- If you don't want to cook the Parma Ham, then just curl the slices up and place on top before serving. The shallots could be roasted at the same time as the tomatoes.
- Oregano is a nice addition to the tomatoes before they are roasted.
- Mix things up and add some soft goats cheese to the dish isn't of parmesan.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.