This quick burst tomato pasta with halloumi is the dish to make when you have lovely ripe cherry tomatoes. The red-pepper flakes, garlic, and basil bring out the flavor of the tomato and the fried halloumi seals the deal. This is lazy, easy summer cooking at its best.
If you love this Quick Burst Tomato Pasta With Halloumi, you will also love this Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce With Pesto, Eggplant pasta with Tomatoes and Sweet Italian Sausage or Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce with Prosciutto and Goat cheese!
Why this recipe sings
This quick burst tomato pasta is a satisfying vegetarian dinner, and it can be thrown together in half an hour.
This is true Greek summer cooking using inexpensive and commonly available ingredients: olive oil, tomatoes, pasta and cheese.
Colorful, juicy cherry tomatoes roast until they burst, mixed with pasta and fried halloumi cheese, making this humble yet delicious dish.
Here is what you need
- Tomatoes. This burst tomato pasta depends on the savory, umami-rich flavor of the cherry tomatoes, so use the best ones you can find. Any combination of low-water, high-flavor tomatoes like grape, cherry, and Campari, roasted to their purest essence, produces the most vibrant result.
- Pasta. I use Conchiglie Rigate n° 50 for this recipe; the shape resembles a seashell and can capture any sauce. Another kind of shortcut pasta or regular spaghetti would taste great, too. Add fresh basil at the end, if you’d like, or a dusting of grated parmesan cheese.
- Halloumi cheese. It has a semi-hard, elastic texture and a mild, lightly salty flavor. Halloumi has a high melting point and is delicious fried or grilled.
- Olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, sea salt and fresh basil.
How to make this recipe
Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F.
Add the cherry tomatoes to a baking pan.
Season with sea salt, one teaspoon of dried oregano, ½ teaspoon of sugar(optional), and a teaspoon of chili flakes. Pour over ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
Boil the pasta according to package instructions.
Place a skillet on medium-high heat. Pour one tablespoon of olive oil. Slice the halloumi into ¼ inch slices. Fry in hot oil for about one minute total on both sides.
Mix the cooked pasta with the tomatoes, all the juices, and the fried halloumi cheese.
Add some fresh basil leaves on top and more chili flakes if desired. Enjoy!
Yes and no. It is true; if your tomatoes are tasteless, your pasta will be too. The only off-season grocery store tomato that can be successful in this recipe is the Campari variety. Camparis are deep red, larger than a cherry tomato, but smaller and rounder than plum tomatoes. They are juicy, with high sugar levels and low acidity. They are available in plastic containers at most supermarkets all year. Otherwise, go for a classic tomato sauce with canned tomatoes rather than fresh ones because they were picked at peak season, with their flavors amplified by being preserved in a can with a little salt.
Kefalotiri cheese is a similar cheese with a high melting point. It is usually used for making saganaki. It tends to be salty, so keep that in mind. You can add feta cheese to the tomatoes before roasting, like the famous tomato feta pasta, or use grated parmesan cheese.
Quick Burst Tomato Pasta With Halloumi
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- 2 cups dry short-cut pasta
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 7 oz halloumi cheese
- fresh basil leaves
- sea salt
- chili flakes
- dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F
- Add the cherry tomatoes to a baking pan. Season with sea salt, one teaspoon of dried oregano, ½ teaspoon of sugar, and a teaspoon of chili flakes. Pour over ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Boil the pasta according to package instructions.
- Place a skillet on medium-high heat. Pour one tablespoon of olive oil. Slice the halloumi into ¼ inch slices.Fry in hot oil for about one minute total on both sides.
- Mix the cooked pasta with the tomatoes, all the juices, and the fried halloumi cheese. Add some fresh basil leaves on top and more chili flakes if desired. Enjoy!