Summer calls for simple, fresh, and colorful food. The kind that is big on taste, but requires little effort to prepare and enjoy. Truthfully, this is our M.O. when it comes to cooking generally—our busy schedules mean that the hot months aren’t the only time we want to avoid the kitchen. So, we’re always on the lookout for healthy recipes that magically make themselves, allowing us to sit back and relax, perhaps pour a refreshing glass of iced tea or wine, and watch our little ones enjoy their last romp around the yard before the sun sets.

Luckily, Honest Sarah (who claims to be the laziest cook on earth) is here to share her perfect summer pasta recipe that she promises the whole family will love.


It’s true. I love to eat great food, but I only like to cook (and the latter might still be a bit of an overstatement). Knowing this about myself, I often make meals with ingredients that are easy to find at the grocery store or farmers’ market and that take almost no prep work (20 minutes max). This perfect summer pasta is something my family eats a couple times per month because it is a deceptively easy but elegant spin on the classic spaghetti.


Perfect Summer Pasta Ingredients

  • 16 oz. organic cherry or mini heirloom tomatoes, rinsed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil to coat (about four tablespoons)
  • Pasta of choice (organic, wheat, quinoa, rice, and gluten-free all work)
  • Fresh organic arugula
  • Organic buffalo mozzarella cheese, cubed
  •  Serves 3 adults or 2 adults + 2 young children with modest portion sizes.

Heat the oven to 350. Combine minced garlic and mini tomatoes (I prefer the 16 oz. package of organic heirloom or cherry tomatoes from Trader Joe’s…no measuring or cutting required!) in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with enough olive oil to toss and coat tomatoes. Cook for 1 hour on your oven’s middle rack.



About 25 minutes before your tomatoes finish roasting, boil water for your pasta of choice and cook according to the package’s directions. Mostly, I use organic wheat spaghetti but truly any noodle will do. So, go with what you prefer or have stocked in your pantry whether it’s gluten-free, rice, or penne-shaped pasta.

My Honest Tip: When you add hearty toppings to your pasta, you don’t need as many noodles as you think to create a filling dish. To measure proper portions, I’ve heard one trick is to make a tight circle with your index finger and thumb—the amount of spaghetti that fits within that space is the amount you need.

Next cube a small handful of mozzarella for each dish. Then rinse and dry about two handfuls of organic arugula to be tossed with each pasta serving (if you don’t like a ton of greens in your pasta, adjust to your liking or substitute basil instead…I really like the added crunch and flavor from the arugula so it’s likely I have a tendency to overdo it here).



I used to serve this as a side dish at barbeques and one day it dawned on me that it would make a delish pasta topping—no sauce needed because the roasted tomatoes’ juice coupled with the olive oil provides the perfect light coating.



Add the drained pasta to your bowls. Top with your arugula, mozzarella, and roasted tomatoes. Divide the remaining olive oil and garlic in the baking dish among the bowls and drizzle on top. Voila! That’s it. You have a perfect summer pasta. A tasty but not too heavy meal.



The next time you whip this up, don’t be afraid to improvise and call it your own. You could easily throw in some sauteed shrimp for some added protein, roast zucchini and summer squashes with the tomatoes, or try decadent goat cheese. Now it’s time to dig in, toss, and enjoy al fresco with a glass of wine!

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34 thoughts on “Perfect Summer Pasta

  1. This looks delicious! Roasted tomatoes/garlic are a favorite at my house (spread on toast with goat cheese) and we’ll now try them with pasta, arugula and mozzarella. Yummy!

  2. I suggest you a similar recipe straight from Italy: cook the pasta, preferably spaghetti Italians, meanwhile in a bowl of cherry tomatoes cut in half, add olive oil, salt and basil (also from the freezer), mix thoroughly and then pour over pasta when cooked! a kiss hello from ITALY! CIAO

  3. salam! I’m gonna share a simple yet delicious & healthy recipe from my home land Palestine, you need whole grain pita bread, some gaot cheese, some arugula, 1 big fresh tomato diced, thyme, and some olive oil/ spread your pita bread, brush it with 1 table spoon of olive oil, place 4 medium slices of goat cheese not too thin not too thick on one side, spread the tomato and the arugula on top, season it with a bit of salt and black pepper, close the sandwich and put it on the toaster until it’s crispy from both sides, then cut it into triangles and sprinkle some thyme… bon appetit 🙂

  4. Great for summer days. You don´t need to spend too much time in the kitchen and it looks delicious! Rhanks for sharing.

  5. I do this with other vegetables like peppers, zucchini… but never with mozzarella. I just have a question, the mozzarella can be baked? I don’t know if it is very good with hot tomatoes.
    Thanks for the recipe ! =)

    1. The mozzarella is tossed in when it’s fresh, so it doesn’t bake. If it touches a hot tomato it melts slightly but not significantly. The flavors together are similar to a Margherita pizza. The pasta tastes great without cheese too or you can substitute a different one if you prefer. Enjoy!

  6. I’m trying this tomorrow night 🙂 I saw it when JA posted it, and have been wanting to try it ever since! 🙂 My husband makes an awesome grilled chicken I can share! He takes chicken breasts and slices them in half, and then pierces them with a fork. In a large ziploc bag he puts about 1 1/2 cups of olive oil (for a large pack of chicken), 3/4 cup of honey, minces 1 green apple, 1/2 cup of water, and about 1/3 of Montreal Seasoning – GrillMates. He shakes the chicken up in the bag leaves it over night and cooks it on the grill. Absolutely DELISH! 😀

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