5 Ingredient Burst Tomato Orecchiette

This 5 Ingredient Burst Tomato Orecchiette is one thousand percent a summertime must make item. The fresh flavors of Italian cooking shine through in this super simple, family friendly dish.

A few summers ago, Alessandro and I went to Italy with his entire family for a family reunion. My Father in Law grew up there and hadn’t been back in many years, so it was truly something special to be a part of.

5 Ingredient Burst Tomato Orecchiette

While we were in Tuscany, we took a cooking class with locals and not only is it something I will never forget, I learned SO much from them.

  1. Always use fresh, high quality ingredients. Think good olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh herbs, and whatever produce is IN SEASON.
  2. Serve food that compliments the weather. I.e. in the summertime, the Italians serve a lot of food that can be served at room temperature, and in the winter, foods that are warm and cozy.
5 Ingredient Burst Tomato Orecchiette

This 5 Ingredient Burst Tomato Orecchiette was most definitely inspired by our trip to Italy because it taught me that when using super fresh ingredients, you don’t need 20 items to make something super flavorful. A few high quality, good ingredients is all you need!

For this recipe, we start by making a simple burst tomato sauce by cooking tomatoes in olive oil and butter until bursting and juicy.

Then season it up with salt and pepper, fresh garlic, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes if desired. Next, we’ll add in the cooked pasta and a little parmesan and voila, it’s ready to be served!

5 Ingredient Burst Tomato Orecchiette

Like I said, Italians serve a lot of things at room temperature in the summer, so it can be made ahead and served when the family is ready to eat.

This pasta was developed with that intention as well, so feel free to serve it warm or at room temperature. This will give you the freedom of making it ahead of time for friends and they will absolutely love it!!


5 Ingredient Burst Tomato Orecchiette

5 Ingredient Burst Tomato Orecchiette
  • Author: Lindsay Cola (Tippens)
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 1/2 c olive oil 
  • 2 T butter 
  • 1 lb orecchiette pasta, cooked per instructions on package
  • 2 lbs cherry tomatoes (about 4 1/2 c, left whole)
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 
  • 1012 fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled, and thinly sliced 
  • 1 c grated parmesan 
  • Red pepper flakes, optional 
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water 
  • Salt + Freshly Cracked Pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add tomatoes and give it a stir.  Cover with a lid or splatter screen and cook until bursting and juicy, about 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water per instructions on package, until al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain; toss with a little olive oil and set aside. 
  3. Using the back of your wooden spoon, gently and carefully press tomatoes to help them burst, and keep cooking until juicy.  
  4. Reduce heat to low, add garlic, salt and pepper and cook another few minutes, until garlic is nice and fragrant. 
  5. When tomatoes are finished, add pasta to the same skillet, along with parmesan and fresh basil.  Toss to combine.  Gradually add reserved pasta water until you reach desired consistency.  (I used a little over 1/2 a cup) 
  6. Garnish with red pepper flakes, a drizzle of olive oil, more parmesan and serve!! 
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