Italian Roasted Tomato & Garlic Pasta with Herb Gremolata
February 26, 2021
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

This recipe calls for very few ingredients, relying on the quality of each to deliver on flavor and nutrition. Reach for the best extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on and you’ll enjoy a dish packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids—plus a robust flavor that pairs perfectly with sweet roasted tomatoes.

Cooking tomatoes actually increases their lycopene content. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that acts as an anti-inflammatory, protects your skin and eyes against sun damage, lowers your risk of cancer and boosts heart health.

Garlic acts as an anti-viral in the body—just what we all need to get through cold and flu season.

Gremolata is an Italian mainstay that boosts the flavor profile of anything you top it with. If you have any leftover, try it as a topping on seafood or roasted vegetables to give them the Italian treatment too!

Serves 4

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 pound linguini or pappardelle pasta
  • 4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped, divided
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 thick-cut slice of white, wheat or sourdough bread
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet, combine the tomatoes, five cloves of garlic, ¼ cup olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to burst open.
  2. While the tomatoes roast, put the slice of bread directly on a rack in the oven and let it toast until it’s golden brown and crisp.
  3. Bring a large pot of water up to a roaring boil. Add a generous pinch of salt, and cook the pasta per package instructions until just al dente. Before draining, reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water for your sauce.
  4. When the tomatoes are done roasting, toss the cooked and drained pasta directly in the Dutch oven, adding ½ the reserved pasta water to make a silky sauce, mixing everything together well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. To make the gremolata, crush the toasted bread into medium size breadcrumbs. In a skillet over medium heat, add the reserved 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 chopped garlic clove and the breadcrumbs. Toast until fragrant and golden brown, then take it off heat and add the lemon zest and basil along with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, divide the pasta with tomatoes between four plates, and top each one with a generous sprinkle of the gremolata. Enjoy!

About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: