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pasta margherita recipe

Margherita Pasta

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Italian


Easy and fresh summer pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and garlic. It comes together quickly and makes the perfect light meal.


  • 8 oz. dry penne pasta
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic, about 3 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 2 cups diced roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar or any other sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper


  1. Cook pasta until al dente in salted water according to package directions. 
  2. While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Make sure the skillet is big enough to hold the sauce and pasta. Add garlic and chili flakes. Cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant while stirring constantly.
  3. Add tomatoes, basil, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until tomatoes are slightly softened and heated through, about 2 minutes. Do not simmer for too long or you won’t have any sauce left.
  4. Drain the pasta reserving about 1/2 cup of water. Add pasta to the tomato sauce with a little bit of the reserved pasta cooking water, and stir until well coated and combined. Keep in mind that pasta will absorb some of the moisture and the sauce will thicken up.
  5. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. You can add a bit more of the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen up the sauce. Serve immediately.


  • Pasta: Feel free to use any other short-cut pasta of choice.
  • Butter: Butter provides flavor and creates a creamy velvety sauce. I do not recommend substituting butter with oil.
  • Chili Flakes: This dish has a slightly peppery taste.  Feel free to cut down the chili flakes to 1/8 teaspoon, especially if serving to kids.
  • Protein (optional): For added protein, serve the pasta topped with sliced grilled chicken or shrimp.

Keywords: fresh, easy, summer, tomatoes,