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Lunch/ Pasta

Tomato Butter Pasta

August 15, 2022 by Chris Collins

This tomato butter pasta is such a simple recipe, but it always hits the spot!

This is one of those no-fuss pasta recipes that are just too good not to try. It’s no fuss or frills, but there’s something about it that’s so delicious. Follow me…

overhead shot of butter tomato pasta served in white dish with silver fork

Grated Tomato Pasta Sauce

One of the key steps in this recipe is grating the tomatoes to form the sauce.

Why grate the tomatoes?

To be honest the grating of tomatoes is mostly about the ability to form a sauce using fresh tomatoes. Grating the tomatoes leaves you with the perfect texture for a sauce, and, you get the bonus of not needing to peel the tomatoes – the grater does it for you! Just discard the skin you get to it.

What kind of tomatoes to use?

The tomatoes make up a big bulk of the sauce, so try and get some nice ripe good quality tomatoes. Here I’ve used plum tomatoes which work perfectly, so do grab them if you can.

Process shots: weigh tomatoes (photo 1), begin grating on box grater (photo 2), carefully grate up until the point only the skin is left (photo 3), discard skin (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to grate tomatoes

Tomato Butter Pasta Sauce

Creating an emulsion

The tomatoes are obviously going to be fairly watery, and to form the sauce we need to blend them with the butter. You will form an emulsion by just simmering and stirring the two of them, but to help along you’ll want to toss in some starchy pasta water. The starch molecules will help create a glossy, ever-so-slightly creamy sauce. Just pour this in as needed after adding the pasta.

Extra goodies

Alongside the butter and tomatoes, I love frying off some garlic and chilli flakes, just for a gorgeous base flavour. I also love tossing in some fresh basil and parmesan alongside the pasta, just to really lift the whole dish.

Process shots: melt butter (photo 1), fry garlic and chilli flakes (photo 2), add tomatoes and seasoning (photo 3), toss in cooked pasta (photo 4), toss in basil (photo 5), toss in parmesan (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make tomato butter pasta

Serving Tomato Butter Pasta

Once I’ve tossed in the parmesan, I love stirring in one final knob of butter, just to give the pasta a gorgeously glossy, buttery texture to finish. From there, just serve up with any leftover basil/parmesan and tuck in! I usually whip this up for a no-fuss and relatively quickly Lunch.

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this tomato butter pasta shall we?!

close up shot of tomato butter pasta in silver ladle

How to make Tomato Butter Pastaย (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of tomato butter pasta in silver ladle

Tomato Butter Pasta

This tomato butter pasta is such a simple recipe, but it always hits the spot!
5 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 2
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories per serving: 794kcal
Cost per serving: ยฃ3 / $4

Equipment:

  • Large Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Large Pot & Tongs
  • Box Grater & Bowl
  • Fine Cheese Grater

Ingredients (check list):

  • 9oz / 250g Spaghetti, or other long cut pasta
  • 1lb / 500g Tomatoes (see notes)
  • 4 tbsp / 2oz / 60g Butter
  • 1/3 cup / 1oz / 30g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • handful of Fresh Basil, finely diced
  • pinch of Chilli Flakes, to taste
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Use a box grater to grate each tomato into a bowl. Discard the skin when you get to it.
  • Melt 3.5 tbsp butter in a large pan over medium heat (save the remaining 1/2 tbsp butter for later). Add in garlic & chilli flakes and fry for a couple of minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, generously season with salt & pepper and give it a good stir.
  • Keep on a gentle simmer and occasionally stir for 15mins, or until sauce begins to thicken and emulsify with the butter.
  • Meanwhile, place the pasta in heavily salted water and cook until al dente.
  • Use tongs to transfer the pasta straight into the pan and toss to combine with the sauce. Toss in basil, then toss in parmesan, adding starchy pasta water from the pot to thin out the sauce as needed. If you go overboard with the pasta water, just continue to simmer & toss the pasta in the sauce until it thickens and clings around the pasta.
  • Add in the final 1/2 tbsp butter and toss until melted. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly, then serve up with any extra basil/parmesan and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Tomatoes - Here I've used some ripe plum tomatoes, which I recommend using if you can get your hands on them (they have a gorgeous sweet flavour with bright red flesh). Failing that, just grab some good-quality ripe tomatoes that are going to be easy to grate.
b) Grating the tomatoes - This helps create a nice texture to form the base of the sauce. It's also a really simple way of peeling the tomatoes. As you grate the tomatoes just keep them flat and you'll be left with the entirety of the skin, which you can just discard. If you don't have a grater just slice an X at the top of each tomato, then simmer in boiling water for 1 min. Immediately place in an ice bath and peel the skin when cool enough to handle. From there, just dice as finely as you can.
c) Seasoning - This is a really simple sauce, so season well to bring out the best in it! Also make sure your pasta water is seasoned well, just so you don't dilute the flavour of the sauce.
d) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 2.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Tomato Butter Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 794 Calories from Fat 271
% Daily Value*
Fat 30.1g46%
Saturated Fat 17.549g88%
Trans Fat 1.075g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.055g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.446g
Cholesterol 75mg25%
Sodium 500mg21%
Potassium 906mg26%
Carbohydrates 107.72g36%
Fiber 7.1g28%
Sugar 9.47g11%
Protein 24.13g48%
Vitamin A 3393IU68%
Vitamin C 34.2mg41%
Calcium 224mg22%
Iron 5.34mg30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

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Recipe Rating




63 Comments

  • Reply
    Samantha
    October 18, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    5 stars
    AMAZING. I made extra with chicken added and I still didnโ€™t have leftovers haha. My 3 boys are picky eaters and EVERYONE had 3 plates (Hubby had 4). New favorite and shared with my mom. Thank you. This recipe is simple, easy, fast and just amazing. Will make again.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 19, 2023 at 7:43 pm

      So great to hear, Samantha! Thanks so much for the review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Jonathan
    October 10, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    5 stars
    A huge hit at the table, so much so that there almost weren’t enough leftovers to send with our daughter for lunch the next day. And, FYI, this is one of those dishes that is even better the next day, so make sure you make enough for leftovers.

    One small point, pretty sure that as written and for normal eaters this is closer to 4 servings than 2 (most pasta is 2 oz. / serving).

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 10, 2023 at 5:57 pm

      Thanks so much for the review, Jonathan! Glad to hear this went down well ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Neva
    September 23, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    The best pasta meal I have ever had!! We loved it thank you so much!!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 24, 2023 at 7:59 pm

      Great to hear, Neva! ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Desiree
    September 10, 2023 at 12:42 am

    5 stars
    Made this last week and my hubby requested it today. It was so amazing, perfection. Thank you for sharing this. How far in advance could I grate the tomatoes?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 10, 2023 at 12:05 pm

      So great to hear this went down well! I can’t say I’ve grated them ahead of time – my instinct is I probably wouldn’t go more than 24 hours tightly stored in the fridge, just to keep them as fresh as possible. But you can definitely experiment and see how you get on! C.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 8, 2023 at 12:14 am

    I have been waiting patiently for enough of my romas to ripen at once to try this recipe, so glad I did! This is unbelievably rich and light at the same time. Didn’t have any basil, and one of the family doesn’t eat parm, so we grated it into individual bowls, but this is the best tomato-based pasta I have had in a very long time. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 10, 2023 at 11:57 am

      This is so awesome to read, Amanda! Glad it went down well ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Bernadette
    September 4, 2023 at 7:09 am

    5 stars
    One of the best pasta dishes Iโ€™ve had in a long time and so quick and easy. Definitely a keeper.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 5, 2023 at 10:03 am

      Thanks so much for the review! ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Linda B
    August 24, 2023 at 12:47 am

    5 stars
    This is the best! Simple, delicious ingredients, beautifully prepared. This is everything we love at our house. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 24, 2023 at 10:00 am

      Thanks so much for the review, Linda! ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Storm Arashi
    August 23, 2023 at 5:29 am

    5 stars
    This is going to become my go to recipe for a nice easy homemade dinner. My neighbor gives us tomatoes all throughout the summer and fall and I’m always trying to find a good recipe to use them all up. THIS IS IT. We had three really big juicy tomatoes and once they were grated, they were perfect for it. The sauce came together perfectly. I also had some diced onion in my fridge so I sweated that down and then cooked the garlic and chili flakes together. I added the onions back in when the tomatoes went in. I didn’t have basil but honestly, didn’t need it. This recipe is phenomenal and honestly, you can use this sauce in a lot of dishes I imagine. My mom requested I make this sauce to go with my lasagna recipe. Thank you so much!! This is going to become a weeknight go to!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 23, 2023 at 10:12 am

      This is so lovely to read! So happy the recipe went down well. Thanks so much for popping back for a review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Denis P Holmes
    August 3, 2023 at 1:13 am

    5 stars
    Our new โ€œgo toโ€pasta, my wifeโ€™s favorite, is mine also. Sooooo easy to make, and so delicious. A winner in our houseโ€ฆ

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 3, 2023 at 10:34 am

      So lovely to hear, Denis! Thanks so much for the review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Mary
    July 28, 2023 at 2:29 am

    5 stars
    Hubby loved this! I didnโ€™t grate tomatoes but used tomato sauce. Itโ€™s what I had. I will make this again.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 28, 2023 at 10:42 am

      Thanks so much for the review, Mary! ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Riss
    July 21, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    How can I make this for a party of 6? It looks so good

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 22, 2023 at 11:26 am

      At the top of the recipe card you’ll find the servings toggle. Just slide that to 6 and it’ll automatically change the quantities ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Farrell
    July 10, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    5 stars
    I had a pound of farmers market tomatoes and made this and WOW! It was by far one of the easiest and flavorful sauces I’ve ever made. I like it better than a thick marinara. I added a bit too much salt so will cut that back next time but thank you for this recipe!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 12, 2023 at 7:37 am

      So great to hear this went down well! C.

  • Reply
    Megan
    July 2, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    5 stars
    Simple and delicious, kids loved it.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      July 2, 2023 at 5:48 pm

      Great to hear, Megan! ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Kristyn
    June 22, 2023 at 12:08 am

    5 stars
    So good. Made this tonight for dinner with a side of steamed broccoli. We loved it.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      June 22, 2023 at 10:08 am

      Great to hear, Kristyn! Thanks for the review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Teri Jo
    June 13, 2023 at 1:27 am

    5 stars
    This was amazing! I’ll admit, I substituted a can of crushed tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes. However, it was still divine! Rave reviews from the fam. Thank you! Next time, I’ll suck it up and use fresh tomatoes.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      June 13, 2023 at 11:39 am

      Ah that’s still great to hear it works well with crushed tomatoes! Thanks for popping back for a review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Edith
    May 13, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    5 stars
    This was excellent made as directed, my husband loved it!!! This will definitely be in our meal rotation.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 15, 2023 at 10:12 am

      Great to hear, Edith! Thanks for the review! C.

  • Reply
    Sissy
    May 2, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    5 stars
    Fabulous, easy to make and very satisfying.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      May 2, 2023 at 6:35 pm

      Great to hear!! ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Tania Youngson
    April 15, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    Would a can of crushed tomatoes be an acceptable substitution? Perhaps draining them?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 16, 2023 at 11:06 am

      You could give it a go! No need to drain them, the water will reduce over the 15 mins of simmering ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

    • Reply
      Teri Jo
      June 13, 2023 at 1:28 am

      I used a can of crushed tomatoes tonight and it turned out amazing!

  • Reply
    Mary Ward
    February 24, 2023 at 11:44 pm

    5 stars
    I have a Pinterest board for recipes that my husband loves. He asked to have this recipe put on it. He’s a huge pasta fan and is already talking about when to have it next. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      February 26, 2023 at 10:49 am

      That’s so great to hear, Mary! Thanks so much for popping back for a review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Ali
    February 20, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    5 stars
    Wow, Iโ€™m neither a review person nor a recipe follower, but somehow I did all the things you said to do and this is the only thing I ever want to eat โ™ฅ๏ธ Plus my picky eater teen chimed in and said that this was perfection, and we all loved the inclusion of red pepper flakes and garlic.
    Also Iโ€™ve used my box grater for many other veggies, but the tomato idea is genius. Cheers!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      February 21, 2023 at 10:33 am

      Ah that’s so awesome to hear! Glad the recipe went down well with everyone and thank you for the review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Debi
    January 20, 2023 at 2:16 am

    5 stars
    Omgโ€ฆ the best sauce Iโ€™ve ever madeโ€ฆ simple and tangy and delicious

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      January 20, 2023 at 10:14 am

      Great to hear, Debi! Thanks for the review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Jamie persky
    January 2, 2023 at 9:16 pm

    Amy suggestions for adding a meat to this dish?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      January 4, 2023 at 1:26 am

      Shrimp/prawns would be my first choice. You could also play around with chicken or sausage too. C.

      • Reply
        Kira
        April 19, 2023 at 10:47 pm

        5 stars
        Wow, so delicious and so easy. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use canned tomatoes again. My husband and 3 kids aged 10-14 ALL devoured it. I love finding simple, flavour-packed recipes. Great for a busy weeknight, but elegant enough to serve for company. THANK YOU so much for sharing!

        • Reply
          Chris Collins
          April 21, 2023 at 5:26 pm

          Thanks so much for popping back for a review, Kira! So happy to hear it went down well with you can the family ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Susan
    December 11, 2022 at 5:12 pm

    Great recipe. I added more garlic.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      December 12, 2022 at 3:19 pm

      Thanks Susan! C.

  • Reply
    JRiley
    October 21, 2022 at 11:01 pm

    5 stars
    โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ In July I fractured and dislocated my right elbow and injured the wrist. I am right-handed so I havenโ€™t been able to cook much and have existed pretty much on prefab frozen meals since. Tonight I just had to try this recipe even though I had to sub canned diced tomatoes, jarred garlic, cayenne pepper and dried basil. It turned out delicious. I can only imagine how good it is when the recipe is followed. I will definitely be making it often. Thanks for sharing. P.S. the stars wouldnโ€™t click so I gave you five as best I could.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 22, 2022 at 1:29 pm

      So happy to hear this went down well and worked out with the subs! Thanks for the review and I hope the injury clears up soon ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Amy McCord
    October 21, 2022 at 1:11 am

    5 stars
    Too simple to be so good! My husband is still raving about it! Nice, clean eating! No more marinara sauce for us. This is the Bomb! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 21, 2022 at 10:30 am

      Amy, so happy to hear this went down well! Thanks so much for the review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Ingrid
    October 19, 2022 at 3:31 am

    Made this a couple of days ago. Was thrilled at grating the tomatoes to form the sauce – so easy and turned out perfect. Delicious dinner, will make it often.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 19, 2022 at 11:31 am

      That’s so great to hear, Ingrid! Glad it went down well ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Allison Catarino
    September 30, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    5 stars
    Just made this. It’s so simple, yet so delicious!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 30, 2022 at 3:28 pm

      Great to hear it went down well, Allison! Thanks for the review ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Kerry
    September 5, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    Do Canned san marzano tomatoes work?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 6, 2022 at 9:40 am

      I’d definitely give it a o with grated fresh tomatoes first, but San Marzano tomatoes wouldn’t be a bad substitue.

  • Reply
    Cathy
    September 1, 2022 at 11:16 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you for this great recipe! Excellent when homegrown roma tomatoes are at their prime. No changes needed. It is such a rustic, simple recipe. Definitely a keeper. Thanks again.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      September 2, 2022 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks so much for the review, Cathy! Glad the recipe went down well ๐Ÿ™‚ C.

  • Reply
    Mandy
    August 25, 2022 at 10:20 am

    5 stars
    So simple and tasty! I managed to find some plum tomatoes which I was chuffed about. Although they were a little pricey. Anyway, great recipe thanks!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 25, 2022 at 10:31 am

      Thanks Mandy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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