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Tomato Basil Pasta for One Serving

Give a try to our Tomato Basil Pasta, a dish that stands out with its fresh flavors and simple preparation. It is specially crafted for a single serving, ensuring no leftovers and perfect portion control.

Black plate with spaghetti, tomatoes and basil on a blue surface.

When you’re in the rhythm of a busy week, this recipe is a lifesaver. It’s the epitome of convenience, requiring only common ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen.

Imagine a classic Italian combination that brings together the vibrant flavors of fresh basil and juicy tomatoes. This tomato basil pasta is more than just a pasta recipe; it’s a delightful experience tailored for those who appreciate the simplicity and elegance of Italian cuisine.

The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity. Easy to whip up, budget-friendly, and kid-friendly, it’s a wonderful choice for any weeknight meal. And if you’re lucky enough to make this recipe during tomato season, you’re in for an even tastier treat.

The fresh tomato basil pasta, bursting with the natural sweetness of seasonal tomatoes, will leave you savoring each forkful.

Perfect for a quick lunch or dinner, this dish is ideal for anyone looking for a single serving of deliciousness.

Let’s dive in!

🌟 Recipe Tips

  • Quality of Ingredients: For a dish as simple as fresh tomato basil pasta, the quality of your ingredients is paramount. Use the freshest basil and ripest tomatoes you can find. In-season tomatoes will enhance the flavor significantly.
  • Pasta Cooking Technique: To ensure your pasta is perfectly al dente, cook it according to the package instructions, but always taste a minute before the suggested time. Remember, it will continue to cook a bit after you drain it.
  • Reserve Pasta Water: Before draining your pasta, remember to reserve a cup of pasta water. Adding a little of this starchy, salty water to your sauce can help it cling to the pasta more effectively.
  • Fresh Basil Usage: Add basil towards the end of your cooking process. This preserves its vibrant color and fresh flavor, which is essential for a dish like fresh basil pasta for a single serving.
  • Balancing Flavors: A pinch of salt and a dash of pepper can go a long way in balancing the flavors. If your tomatoes aren’t as sweet as you’d like, a small sprinkle of sugar can help.
  • Cheese Selection: Parmesan is a great choice, but for an authentic Italian touch, consider using Pecorino Romano. Grate it fresh for the best flavor.
  • Presentation: Since it’s a single serving, take a moment to plate your pasta beautifully. It enhances the dining experience, making even a quick meal feel special.

🥘 Ingredients & Substitutes

Cherry tomatoes, spaghetti pasta, parmesan and basil leaves.
  • Pasta forms the base of this dish, providing a satisfying texture and a canvas for the flavors. Traditionally, spaghetti or fettuccine works well, but if you’re looking to switch it up, try penne, linguine, or even spiralized vegetables like zucchini for a gluten-free option.
  • Tomatoes are the heart of the sauce, offering a fresh and tangy taste. While fresh, ripe tomatoes are preferred, canned diced tomatoes can be a convenient alternative, especially outside of tomato season. Cherry or grape tomatoes also make a great substitute, adding a burst of sweetness.
  • Fresh Basil adds an aromatic, herby freshness that is key to this dish. If fresh basil isn’t available, a pinch of dried basil can work in a pinch, though the flavor will be more concentrated. Alternatively, try fresh spinach for a different but equally delightful green touch.
  • Parmesan brings a salty, umami depth to the pasta. If Parmesan is not on hand, grated Pecorino Romano or Asiago cheese are excellent alternatives. For a dairy-free option, nutritional yeast can offer a similar cheesy flavor profile.

👩‍🍳 Directions

This recipe is perfect for summer evenings when you don’t feel like cooking too much, but crave a quick, aromatic, and delicious dinner.

Start by boiling water for the pasta, as this is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. While the water is heating up, take a pan and pour in 3-4 teaspoons of oil, then add the halved or quartered cherry tomatoes and finely chopped garlic.

Frying tomatoes halves in olive oil and garlic in a pan on the stove.

Cook over medium heat, and finely chop just the basil stems to add to the pan. Season with a little salt and cover with a lid, letting it cook over medium heat.

Frying cherry tomatoes in oil in a frying pan on the stove.

By this time, the water for the pasta should be boiling. Add a bit of salt to the water, then cook the pasta until al dente, following the package instructions.

Boiling spaghetti pasta in a pan on the stove.

When the tomatoes are completely soft, add the chopped basil leaves, then reduce the heat and let it simmer under the lid until the pasta is done.

Frying cherry tomatoes with basil leaves in a pan on the stove.

Once the pasta is ready, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, adding a bit of sugar if it’s too acidic to balance the flavor.

Frying pan with fried toamtoes and basil leaves with garlic.

Now, add the drained pasta and mix well to ensure each piece is coated with the sauce.

Frying pan with spaghetti, basil leaves and cherry tomatoes.

Serve immediately, generously sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and drizzled with a bit of raw olive oil.

Black plate with spaghetti, tomatoes and basil on a blue surface.

🍴 How to Double the Recipe:

To double this delightful basil pasta Italian recipe, simply follow these guidelines: Double each ingredient, meaning use twice the amount of pasta, tomatoes, fresh basil, and Parmesan.

When cooking a larger quantity of pasta, ensure your pot is large enough to accommodate it without crowding, as this helps the pasta cook evenly. Also, adjust your seasonings slightly – sometimes, when scaling up, you may need a bit more or less than just double the spices and herbs to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.

With these adjustments, you’ll seamlessly create a delicious meal for two, maintaining the essence of a single-serving basil pasta with tomatoes.

🍽️ Servings

Mediterranean-Inspired Dinner

  • Components: Enhance your pasta with grilled chicken strips or sautéed shrimp, alongside a side of roasted Mediterranean vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant. Add a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a sweet and tangy finish.
  • Presentation: Serve the pasta as the main star, with the protein and vegetables arranged around it. A drizzle of balsamic glaze adds a gourmet touch.
  • Occasion: Perfect for a sophisticated yet easy dinner party or a special date night at home.

Italian Bistro Lunch

  • Components: Pair the pasta with a fresh, crisp side salad made with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and shaved Parmesan, dressed in a light lemon vinaigrette. Add a slice of crusty garlic bread on the side.
  • Presentation: Place the pasta in a shallow bowl, with the salad on a separate small plate and the garlic bread alongside. A sprinkle of fresh basil on the pasta enhances its visual appeal.
  • Occasion: Ideal for a refreshing and light lunch, especially suitable for warm, sunny days or a leisurely weekend meal.

Cozy Comfort Meal

  • Components: Accompany the pasta with a warm, rustic baguette and a simple homemade tomato soup to amplify the tomato flavor in the meal.
  • Presentation: Serve the pasta on a plate with a side bowl of tomato soup. The baguette can be presented in a cloth-lined basket.
  • Occasion: Great for a comforting, cozy meal on a chilly evening or when you’re in need of some homemade culinary warmth.

🍽️ Variations

Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta

  • Variation: Add a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk to the tomato sauce for a richer, creamier texture.
  • Suitable For: Those who enjoy a more indulgent pasta dish with a creamy twist.

Spicy Arrabbiata Version

  • Variation: Infuse some heat by adding red pepper flakes to the tomato sauce. You can also include diced spicy sausage for an extra kick.
  • Suitable For: Spice lovers and those who appreciate a fiery edge to their pasta.

Seafood Pasta

  • Variation: Toss in some cooked shrimp, scallops, or clams to the pasta for a delightful seafood variation.
  • Suitable For: Seafood enthusiasts and for occasions when you want to add a touch of elegance to your meal.

❄️ Storage


  • Duration: This pasta can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Method: Allow the pasta to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container. Be sure to separate any extra sauce you might have; storing it separately helps maintain the pasta’s texture.


  • Duration: For longer storage, this dish can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • Method: If you plan to freeze the pasta, it’s best to undercook it slightly during the initial preparation, as it will continue to cook when reheated. Cool the pasta completely, then store in a freezer-safe container or bag. If possible, freeze the sauce separately from the pasta.

Thawing and Reheating

  • Thawing: Thaw the pasta in the refrigerator overnight. For a quicker option, you can use the microwave’s defrost setting.
  • Reheating: To reheat, you can use either the microwave or stovetop. In the microwave, cover the pasta and heat it on medium power, stirring occasionally, until it’s heated through. On the stovetop, reheat the pasta over medium heat in a saucepan, adding a splash of water or extra sauce to keep it from drying out.

Additional Considerations

  • Freshness: Remember, the fresher the ingredients, especially basil and tomatoes, the better the dish will taste even after storage.
  • Avoid Sogginess: If you’re storing the pasta and sauce together, the pasta may absorb more sauce and become a bit soggy. To prevent this, you can lightly toss the pasta with olive oil before adding the sauce.
  • Sauce Absorption: Over time, the pasta will absorb more of the sauce. This can change the texture and flavor balance, so you may need to adjust seasonings when reheating.

🤔 FAQs

What Can I Do with Leftover Tomatoes and Basil?

Leftover tomatoes and basil can be used in a variety of ways. Consider making a simple bruschetta, adding them to salads, or creating a homemade pizza topping. You can also chop the tomatoes and freeze them for future use, and basil leaves can be dried or frozen in olive oil for long-term storage.

How Do I Ensure the Pasta Doesn’t Stick Together When Cooking?

To prevent pasta from sticking, use a large pot with plenty of boiling water and stir the pasta a few times during the cooking process. Adding a little bit of oil to the water can also help. Ensure that the water is at a rolling boil before adding the pasta and avoid overcrowding the pot.

📔 Recipe Card:

Black plate with spaghetti, tomatoes and basil on a blue surface.

Tomato Basil Pasta for One Serving

Enjoy a single serving of our Tomato Basil Pasta, combining fresh basil, juicy tomatoes, and al dente pasta for an easy meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1
Calories 351 kcal


  • 3 oz Pasta
  • 5 oz Tomatoes
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 2 brunches Fresh Basil
  • ½ tablespoon Parmesan


  • Boil Pasta: Start by boiling water in a large pot. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Cook the pasta until al dente, following the package instructions.
    3 oz Pasta
  • Prepare Tomato Sauce: While the pasta water is heating, heat 3-4 teaspoons of olive oil in a pan. Add the halved or quartered cherry tomatoes and finely chopped garlic. Cook over medium heat.
    5 oz Tomatoes, 1 clove Garlic
  • Add Basil stems: Finely chop the basil stems and add them to the pan. Season with a little salt and cover with a lid. Let it cook over medium heat until the tomatoes are completely soft.
    2 brunches Fresh Basil
  • Add Basil Leaves: Once the tomatoes are soft, add the chopped basil leaves. Reduce the heat and let it simmer until the pasta is done.
  • Combine Pasta and Sauce: Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the tomato sauce. Mix well to ensure each piece is coated. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning, adding a bit of sugar if needed to balance the flavor.
  • Serve: Serve the pasta immediately, generously sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and drizzled with a bit of raw olive oil.
    ½ tablespoon Parmesan


  • Pasta Choice: While spaghetti is a classic choice, feel free to experiment with different pasta shapes like farfalle or rotini for a fun twist.
  • Salt the Water: Always salt your pasta water generously. It’s the key to bringing out the pasta’s flavor.
  • Herb Variations: Alongside basil, a sprinkle of fresh oregano or thyme can add another dimension to the dish.
  • Spice It Up: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes can add a nice zing to the dish.
  • Leftovers: If you have leftover pasta, try turning it into a pasta frittata the next day for a delightful breakfast or brunch option.


Calories: 351kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 13gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 52mgPotassium: 534mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1306IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Basil, Pasta, Tomato, Vegetable
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Your Turn

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this tomato basil pasta recipe! If you’ve tried it, please take a moment to rate the recipe and share your experience in the comments.

Your feedback is invaluable, and if you’ve added your own twist to the dish, we’re excited to hear about it. Your unique variations and tips could be a great help to others in our cooking community looking to try something new with this classic dish.

Let’s inspire each other with our culinary adventures!

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