If you’ve ever grown a cherry tomato plant before, you know that they can be incredibly prolific. It starts out all fine and dandy—you snack on the tomatoes in the garden and maybe a few make it inside for a salad—and then one day, your kitchen counter looks like it’s drowning in bowls of cherry tomatoes.
So what do you do with all those tomatoes? Well, anything! Remember that cherry tomatoes are still just tomatoes—turn them into salsa or sundried tomatoes or chili or, like we do here, a quick roasted tomato sauce. The sweet, fresh flavor of those in-season tomatoes makes this pasta so simple and so beautifully tasty.
This is one of those recipes that’s so gloriously minimalist that you’ll be tempted to add and tweak it—I’m gonna stop you right there! I promise if you’re using fresh, in-season produce, then you don’t need to do an inch of tweaking to this recipe to get a great result. Its simplicity is beautiful.
I do recommend only making this when the produce is fresh and in-season—you just aren’t going to get the same tasty results with hothouse tomatoes and frozen corn kernels. Trust me, I’ve tried to recreate the summer magic in January, and it just doesn’t cut it! Save this recipe for your summer rotation.
Feel free to sub in whatever kind of penne works for your family’s dietary needs. This recipe works wonderful with any kind of penne—white, whole wheat, gluten-free, or legume penne. I’ve tried them all! My favorite is actually corn penne, because the slightly sweet flavor of the pasta blends beautifully with the sweetness of the roasted tomato sauce, and the texture is stiff enough to hold up to a hearty bit of mixing.
The recipe calls for a bit of Parmesan cheese for finishing, but if you are plant-based and want to skip that step, you’ll still have a wonderfully tasty dish. Feel free to finish with my Cashew Parmesan to add that cheesy flavor!