Penne with Cherry Tomato Sauce – Can You Say ‘EASY’?

Penne with Cherry Tomato Sauce – Can You Say ‘EASY’?

If you’ve never made tomato sauce from scratch before, then the Cherry Tomato Sauce should be your first. It is unbelievably SUPER EASY, using only fresh ingredients.  In this recipe the cherry tomatoes are cooked just long enough to bring out all their juice, which blends with the garlic-flavored olive oil to make a great-tasting pasta sauce. I’ve been making this for years and I still can’t believe how simple and fast this comes together without sacrificing taste and quality.

I came across this recipe years ago one day during work. Yes, I did have a career before becoming a mom, before moving to the Netherlands, and before managing a foodblog. For over 15 years I worked in the housewares industry as a product developer, creating, designing and developing beautiful products for the home. I worked long and hard hours, but back then with no children, well, I just could. I guess you can say I immersed myself into my work, but is it really work when you are having fun?

Anyways, back to how I found this recipe. Every morning at the office for about 15 minutes I looked through a collection of home and lifestyle magazines for inspiration and motivation. Yes, I got paid to look through magazines! It was in the Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine where I found the Penne with Cherry Tomato Sauce recipe. What attracted me to this recipe was the simple fact that I knew what all the listed ingredients were, and often times this wasn’t the case for me, being then the inexperienced cook that I was. Little did I know that my lack of cooking skills would land me a great pasta recipe.

For a tomato-based sauce that is fresh and light without the added efforts of making a traditional red tomato sauce, this is it! The Penne (or any other short pasta of your preference) with Cherry Tomato Sauce will be your best friend when you’re short on time to prepare a great dinner.

Recipe adapted (with slight changes) from MS Everyday Food magazine. The original recipe calls for ¼ cup sliced Kalamata olives, but for personal preference I left this out.

Penne with Cherry Tomato Sauce

: 4
: 15 min
: 25 min
: Easy

The cherry tomatoes cook just long enough to bring out their juice, which blends with the garlic-flavored olive oil to make one of the best-tasting pasta sauces.


  • 1 pound penne or other short pasta
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound or 500 grams (equivalent to 3 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 + 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Step 1 In a large pot of boiling SALTED water, cook the penne according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain.
  • Step 2 Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute (make sure the garlic does not turn too brown). Reduce heat to low.
  • Step 3 Add the cherry tomatoes, oregano, crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until tomato juices are released, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Step 4 Add in the cooked penne, parsley and 1/2 cup Parmesan to the skillet. Toss to combine. Taste and add the additional 1/4 teaspoon salt if needed.
  • Step 5 Serve with more cheese if desired.