This Bruschetta Pasta is everything you love about bruschetta, bursting with a no-cooking-required fresh tomato sauce and tossed with pasta. It’s an easy and flavorful weeknight dinner that’s ready in 25 minutes.
Let’s talk about pasta.
In particular, this bruschetta pasta. I know that this pasta dish is delicious because my husband not only eats it – he gets seconds and he loves it. The reason why this is telling is because he does not like pasta. He eats it if I put it in front of him, but he never goes out of his way to eat it.
I found this recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine and have made it many, many times since. It takes no time at all to make and is fresh tasting and flavorful. A keeper. It is also perfect for Meat Free Monday.
What is Bruschetta?
Traditional bruschetta is simply toasted bread that has been drizzled with olive oil and then rubbed with a garlic clove.
Believe it or not, but the bruschetta we know and love here in the U.S. is actually a version in Italy known as bruschetta al pomodoro.
The extra finesse with tomatoes and basil is the type of bruschetta pasta recipe I am making today!
About half of the ingredients are pantry staples and the other half are fresh produce easily available at the market. All are commonly found in specialty Italian markets, too.
For the fresh tomato-basil sauce, you will need olive oil, red wine vinegar, capers, garlic, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and flat-leaf Italian parsley.
For the pasta and finishing you will need any tube-shaped pasta, pasta cooking liquid, roasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.
Mozzarella Cheese. Fresh mozzarella outshines packaged mozzarella in every form. Purchase a full 8-ounce ball and cut it into ½-inch cubes when you get home or get cute, little balls known as bocconcini. Trust me, your kids will love them.
Tomatoes. I love super-sweet cherry tomatoes that always seem to be in season. Simply half them with a serrated knife to preserve their plump, round shape. If it’s tomato season, sun golds are a yellow variety of cherry tomatoes that are even sweeter than their red cousin, but summer fresh tomatoes of any variety will be delicious. Look for fun, heirloom varieties around July-August.
Pasta + Cooking Liquid. Any short-grain, tube shaped pasta will do. I love radiatore for their special shape and ridges, which help hold on to the fresh tomato and olive oil marinade. Make sure to reserve about ¼ – ½ cup of the pasta cooking liquid (I scoop it out with a glass or mug). The salt and starch that lingers within the water create a beautifully emulsified sauce – no cooking required!
How To Make // The Steps
The fun part is picking your favorite pasta shape. Once you have that down, all it takes is a quick tomato-marinade and one-pot to reach fresh, glorious, pasta heaven. Simply:
- Begin to make the raw sauce. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, capers, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the star ingredients. Add the tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Toss! Let this marinate for 30 minutes, if possible. I do this if I have time. If I don’t, I do this while the water is boiling for the pasta.
- Add herbs. Toss in the basil and parsley. I reserve a little for adding at the very end.
- Boil pasta. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente according to the package directions.
- Reserve pasta water. Make sure to reserve at least 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce. Add the pasta and the reserved pasta water. Toss well. Check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed.
- Finish and serve. Sprinkle the reserved herbs on the top. Add the pine nuts and some Parmesan cheese.
What Makes This Bruschetta Pasta Recipe So Good?
Even though my husband is not a fan of pasta, this is an easy pasta recipe I make on the regular because:
- Fresh tomatoes and olive oil create a luxurious, fresh, no-cooking-required sauce.
- It is delicious served warm or cold.
- I like to consider it the ultimate weeknight meal ready in less than 30 minutes!
While I love the simplicity of this pasta recipe with bruschetta sauce, you can add or change an ingredient or two to make it your own. Try:
- Chicken or Shrimp: Add sliced grilled chicken or a few freshly sauteed shrimp.
- Long Grain Pasta: While I love fun shapes and sizes, spaghetti, linguine or angel hair would be wonderful.
- Olives: Add a few sliced black or purple olives. This is a great substitute if you are not particularly fond of capers.
I love to toss this together on the weeknights when I am short on time or just want to throw something together fast for my family. It’s always a winner.
But it’s also really good as a cold pasta salad, which means I can meal prep it at the beginning of the week or bring it to picnics, potlucks or BBQs.
Top Tips for Pasta with Bruschetta Sauce:
- Use the brightest, juiciest tomatoes. This is a bruschetta sauce, after all, so you really want the best tomatoes you can find. I always find bright red cherry tomatoes in the store any time of year, but this is a dish where summer tomatoes really shine.
- Marinate the sauce for 30 minutes or as long as it takes the water to boil. The 30-minute mark is ideal as it helps the ingredients marry together, but the amount of time it takes your pot to boil works just fine.
- Remember to save some of the pasta water. Scoop out ¼ – ½ cup pasta cooking water just before it’s al dente. This helps create a smooth, emulsified sauce at the very end.
- Reserve a few fresh herbs for garnish. The basil and parsley add that final pop of color and flavor.
I hope that you like this as much as we do.
More Pasta Recipes //
- Kale and Ricotta Pasta
- Chicken Marsala Pasta
- Arugula and Walnut Pesto Pasta
- Boursin Pasta
- Easy Baked Pasta
- BLT Pasta Salad
Originally published in January 2011, updated August 2020 with updated images and updated recipe card.