Impress your date with this rich and savory Garlic Tomato Pasta. Made with 7 simple ingredients, the bites of juicy tomatoes, bacon, and fresh basil are satisfying and don’t lack any flavor.
My easy Garlic Tomato Pasta is proof you don’t need a long list of ingredients to make a deeply flavorful meal. Every bite showcases a bit of sweet and savory, with tender cooked pasta, juicy cherry tomatoes, and salty bacon. It’s the essence of Italy in one bowl!
This recipe is a great starting point when you want to cook an outstanding meal but aren’t sure where to begin. You can’t go wrong when combining pasta with cherry tomatoes, garlic, and basil! Throw a little crispy bacon in the mix and you have an impressive dinner that’s date night approved.
Even if you’ve run out of tomatoes, you can always make my Garlic Bacon Pasta or Kale Pesto Noodles instead! They’re just as creamy and delicious.
- Rich and bold flavors in every bite.
- The perfect meal for date night. It pairs beautifully with a glass of Merlot!
- All you need are 7 simple, fresh ingredients.
- Pasta - I like the long, wide noodles for this dish but any kind will work. Gluten free noodles work too!
- Bacon - Or use pancetta.
- Tomatoes - Cherry or grape tomatoes preferably.
- Basil - Fresh is best!
- Garlic - The more garlic, the better.
- Spinach - For some added nutrition and color. Swap it for arugula or kale if you prefer.
- Whole canned tomatoes - For extra tomato-goodness and lots of texture.
Step 1: Cook the pasta. Boil the pasta noodles according to the package instructions.
Step 2: Cook the bacon. Place the bacon pieces in a skillet and cook until they’re crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a plate.
Step 3: Sauté the tomatoes. In the same skillet, sauté the grape tomatoes, garlic, and basil in the leftover bacon grease. After a few minutes, stir in the spinach and canned tomatoes and cook until the spinach wilts.
Step 4: Assemble. Combine the cooked pasta and bacon in the skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and serve with parmesan cheese.
Tips and tricks
- Roasting the tomatoes will give this pasta recipe even bigger, bolder flavors.
- Cut the bacon into small, bite-sized pieces before frying.
- Make it extra creamy by stirring in fresh parmesan cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, burrata, or shredded mozzarella.
Can it be made vegan?
Sure! Omit the bacon entirely and make sure you’re using egg-free noodles. Saute the tomatoes in olive oil instead of bacon grease.
How long does it last?
Pasta with tomatoes and spinach is best when eaten hot and fresh, but the leftovers will last for a few days. Just keep them in a sealed container in the fridge.
To reheat, heat the pasta with some additional oil or tomato sauce in a skillet over medium heat or for a few minutes in the microwave.
More pasta dinners
Garlic Tomato Pasta
- 8 oz. pasta
- 2 slices bacon chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
- 2 cups spinach
- 14 oz. whole canned tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoon parmesan cheese optional, for garnish
- red pepper flakes optional, for garnish
- Cook pasta according to the package instructions; drain and set aside.
- While the water is boiling for the pasta, add the bacon to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until crispy; use a slotted spoon to remove it, reserving the bacon grease.
- Add the grape tomatoes, garlic and basil to the skillet and sauté for 2 minutes, then add in the spinach and canned tomatoes and stir for 1 minute until the spinach is wilted.
- Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the skillet, along with the bacon, and stir to combine. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (optional), and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in September 2016. It was updated with new text and photos in July 2021.
Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen says
oh my gosh loling at picturing you walking into YOUR Starbucks only to find YOUR table occupied. I would be super annoyed too though. I actually think I'm going to need some pasta for din now, or at least super soon because this looks way too good!
Amanda Howard says
I'm so putting this into my regular meals as it looks amazing!
Thanks Amanda, let me know if you try it!
Georgie @ Healthy Pears says
This looks amazing! and such simple ingredients! pasta would have to be one of my favourite dishes!
Me too! We eat some sort of pasta every week.
Bethany @ athletic avocado says
Oh yes, so simple yet so heavenly! Pasta is soo comforting, especially when the weather starts to get cooler! That bacon and butter doesn't hurt either 😉
The bacon and the butter DEFINITELY don't hurt 😀
Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food says
Oooh I love this one. I do love a quick and easy pasta dish and this looks super comforting. I am the same way about "my spot." Coffee shop, yoga studio, barre class, gym, work meetings, haha. I have a set spot in all of those places and it definitely throws me off if someone else is there!
Isn't that funny? I'm glad I'm not the only one!