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Side view of the bowl of pasta with a fork resting on the side.

Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta

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  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: One Pot
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta is vegan and made with only 10 ingredients. Simple to put together for an easy weeknight dinner everyone will love.


  • 1 pint (280 g) cherry tomatoes, quartered 
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, roughly chopped 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 block (450 g) extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • 8 oz of rigatoni pasta
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano 
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add your cherry tomatoes and basil to a medium sized mixing bowl along with a pinch of salt and pepper and allow to sit.
  2. In the pot you plan to cook your pasta in, heat up your oil. Add in your tofu and pan fry on both sides. 
  3. To the pot, add in your sliced garlic and stir it around for a minute to become golden. Add in your pepper flakes along with a good pinch of salt and sauté for an extra 30 seconds then remove from heat.  
  4. Add your tofu mixture with the oil into the bowl with the cherry tomatoes and basil.
  5. Fill up your pot with warm water and bring to a boil on the stove top. Prepare your pasta according to the package, making sure to generously salt your pasta water. 
  6. While pasta cooks, add your remaining ingredients to the tomato bowl and give everything a good stir. 
  7. Drain your pasta then pour your tomato mixture over the pasta. Give your pasta a good stir and adjust seasonings to taste then serve. 


8 oz of pasta is about half of a box that is marked as 1 pound. 

Cook your pasta until it’s al dente. Generally your pasta will give you a time range for cooking it on the box. I typically will cook it to about the middle of that time frame. For example, the jumbo rigatoni I used for this preparation called for the pasta to cook for 12-14 minutes. I boiled it for 13 minutes to get the perfect texture.

Make sure to salt your pasta water. This will ensure that your pasta comes out flavorful, which will then help to emphasize more of the flavor notes of the tomato and basil topping.

Taste your balsamic marinade before adding to your pasta. Make note of it’s acidity if using a lower quality balsamic vinegar and adjust the acidity by cutting it with a little more maple syrup if needed.