Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes

bucatini pasta with burst tomatoes and basil

Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes is a gloriously healthy pasta recipe made with juicy, colorful cherry tomatoes and fresh basil ~ no matter what the calendar says, this recipe screams summer!

Bucatini pasta with a simple burst tomato sauce

Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes is as simple as it sounds

And if you’re the kind of cook who loves a no-recipe recipe like I do, then I think you’ll be very happy you stopped by. I only wrote this one down as a formality, and because I don’t want to talk myself out of a job here. I love regular recipes, of course, but on busy nights, I’m all about improvising. Bucatini is a hefty tubular pasta that looks just like a thick spaghetti, but with a hollow core. I chose it because the sauce is so light and healthy, I thought it could use the extra oomph of a sturdy pasta. I never want to leave the dinner table hungry, even on improv nights!

multi-colored cherry tomatoes in plastic tubs

I am a huge fan of cherry tomatoes because they’re available all year round and they’ll give you a summery fresh tomato experience in the middle of winter. They’re wonderful raw, but when they are lightly cooked their flavor really comes alive. 

cherry tomatoes ready to be made into Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes

In fact in this dish, the tomatoes are barely cooked at all –  just enough so that they burst open and release their juice to make the sauce. I suggest using round cherry tomatoes, and not the pear or oval shaped ones. The round ones burst better, and have more juice inside when they do burst, so they make a richer sauce. When the inside of the tomatoes reach a certain temperature, they expand and their skins split open. Depending on the variety you are using and how long you cook them, they may retain their shape a little, or they may collapse completely. I had a little of both.

cherry tomatoes in a skillet for Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes

You can apply this same formula to lots of different dishes–see my EASY WHITEFISH WITH BURST CHERRY TOMATOES AND BASIL, or, perhaps the simplest of them all, GRILLED CHERRY TOMATO BRUSCHETTA.

a fresh healthy vegetarian pasta dish of bucatini and burst tomatoes, ready in 30-minutes!

I start by sauteing a minced garlic clove in a little olive oil. I’m not a garlic lover, I think it can be overpowering, so I only used one clove. You can use two or three… remember, this is a no-recipe recipe, so do as you please.

bucatini pasta with burst tomatoes and basil in a small bowl with fork

I love all the colors of the heirloom cherries, and since they’re mixed varieties, you get lots of variation in flavor and texture, but definitely use the red ones if that’s what you have. The important thing is a splash (1/2 cup for you recipe lovers) of white wine and some fresh basil. Cover and cook until everything bursts, about 10 minutes, and then toss with the pasta. Garnish with more basil and oil, and some Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Buy the good stuff for a dish like this where it’s one of a very few ingredients.

bucatini with burst tomatoes in a white bowl

What’s nice about a meal like this is that you can’t mess it up. What could go wrong with olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and basil?

Reader Rave ~

“Sue, this was a fantastic dinner for my husband’s birthday! I couldn’t find the bucatini pasta so substituted another shape. Added a green salad with blueberries and strawberries and a loaf of crusty bread. I loved this so much I shared on FB and also send directly to my sister who promptly headed for the store to get the ingredients for her meal tonight. Thanks so much for posting. Love, love, love it.” ~ Sandi

4.41 from 10 votes

Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes

Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes is a gloriously healthy pasta recipe made with juicy, colorful cherry tomatoes and fresh basil ~ it's summer in a bowl!
Course dinner, pasta
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 448.5kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 3/4 lb bucatini pasta
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes either regular red, or multi-color heirloom
  • 2-3 Tbsp good olive oil
  • 1, 2 or 3 cloves garlic to taste, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • fresh basil chopped. I used about 12 good sized leaves, but the amount is not important, go with less or more according to your taste. Save some for garnishing.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano


  • Put a large pot of well salted water on the stove to boil. Cook the bucatini according to the package directions...I like to under cook the pasta by a minute or two because I like it firm, and it will continue to cook slightly in the sauce later.
  • Meanwhile wash the tomatoes and remove any stems.
  • Add the olive oil to a large saute pan and heat it gently. Add the garlic and saute on a gentle heat for a few minutes, just to remove the raw garlic taste.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan and heat through, then add the wine. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pan and let the tomatoes cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook them until they burst open and release some of their juices. 10 minutes should be plenty of time.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and add the fresh basil.
  • Toss gently but thoroughly with the drained pasta and make sure everything is heated through. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, and serve right away, with more fresh basil and some Parmesan cheese.

Cook's notes

  • Use any pasta shape you like with these burst tomatoes.  I think twisty fusilli would work well to catch all that sweet tomato juice.


Calories: 448.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 71.91g | Protein: 12.84g | Fat: 10.11g | Saturated Fat: 1.46g | Sodium: 697.37mg | Fiber: 5.09g | Sugar: 7.16g
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Don’t forget to pin this Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes!

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    5 stars
    I love this dish! So many different flavors at once!

    • Reply
      February 9, 2019 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Jennifer, I love to eat this way, it’s simple, yet fantastic 🙂

  • Reply
    January 29, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    5 stars
    Sue, this was a fantastic dinner for my husband’s birthday! I couldn’t find the bucatini pasta so substituted another shape. Added a green salad with blueberries and strawberries and a loaf of crusty bread. I loved this so much I shared on FB and also send directly to my sister who promptly headed for the store to get the ingredients for her meal tonight. Thanks so much for posting. Love, love, love it.

    • Reply
      January 29, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      I’m so excited to read this Sandi because this was such a beautiful pasta, and it’s just the kind of meal I love. I also love that you can almost always get good cherry tomatoes, year round. Happy Birthday to your hubby!

  • Reply
    metabolic enhancing foods list
    October 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for my husband for the first time a month ago and now he wants it at least twice a week!
    . Thank for sharing amazing recipe

    • Reply
      October 11, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      I’m so glad you commented, I adore this dish! The great thing is that cherry tomatoes are always around, and so is basil! I appreciate you coming back to let me know 🙂

  • Reply
    February 15, 2015 at 5:25 am

    how lovely! i like your proportion of tomatoes to pasta, and i think it’s safe to say that this is the post beautiful bucatini dish i’ve ever seen!

    • Reply
      February 15, 2015 at 7:32 am

      I have a pet peeve about pasta that doesn’t have enough ‘stuff’ in it 😉

  • Reply
    February 14, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    You are right–it is a no recipe recipe. I like it. Dare I admit this is the first I have heard of this noodle. Wow, I am sure this is going to help me be a popular party guest. Lol. I love the recipe.
    Happy Valentine’s Day.

  • Reply
    Cate | Chez CateyLou
    February 14, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Look at those gorgeous tomatoes! This pasta looks delicious, and I love how easy it is!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s+Recipes
    February 14, 2015 at 10:29 am

    This looks so tasty and appetizing with all the colourful cherry tomatoes!

  • Reply
    February 14, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and you’ve got my number. GREG

    • Reply
      February 14, 2015 at 10:57 am

      I almost recommended that!

  • Reply
    Susan P
    February 14, 2015 at 4:26 am

    I just found your blog and adore it! I WILL be using your recipes on a regular basis. Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      February 14, 2015 at 6:57 am

      Welcome Susan!

  • Reply
    Cro Magnon
    February 13, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    I’ve not come across that type of pasta… I suppose it’s like continuous Penné.

    Nice recipe. With pasta, simple is best.

    • Reply
      February 14, 2015 at 7:13 am

      Thanks Cro – and yeah, it’s just a thick, hollow spaghetti, I just used it for a change since I happened to come across it at the store, I think it was Barilla, which is my favorite pasta here in the States.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    February 13, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    This is my kind of meal – simple, yet so so good! There’s no better way to eat tomatoes!

  • Reply
    La Torontoise
    February 13, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Susan, I love cherry tomatoes, trying to incorporate a pound of them in my meals every day. Will make this pasta tomorrow for the family. i cook with olive oil only. so tasty: -)
    All the best!
    P.S.I only recently discovered your blog, while searching for a low effort/high impact recipes. I’m happy, this one is in that category: -)

    • Reply
      February 13, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks for your comment, and welcome in! If you are trying to use that many cherry tomatoes every day, then this is definitely a recipe for you. And I love the phrase low effort/high impact, that really does describe what I’m trying to do!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    February 13, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    What a cool pasta and a wonderful recipe! I’ve never heard of bucatini before – but love everything about it. I made a pasta salad last weekend for my grandson’s birthday and used tomatoes like these – they are beautiful and amazingly delicious! Your job is safe with me! Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Reply
    Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine
    February 13, 2015 at 10:26 am

    This looks as gorgeous as I’m sure it tastes! I love those little tomatoes too, such a great reminder of summer in the cold months. I roasted them yesterday and served them with Italian sausage over pearl couscous. So yummy! Thanks for a new way to use them Sue!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2015 at 10:11 am

    How pretty! I love fresh tomato pasta recipes like this! I’ll be saving this one to make in the summer when my cherry tomato supply is at its peak.

    • Reply
      February 13, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Thanks Susan!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I have been loving the pasta lately and this looks so bright and tasty!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2015 at 7:38 am

    I just love this and guess what? I just came home with cherry tomatoes!

    • Reply
      February 13, 2015 at 8:20 am

      Nice timing!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen
    February 13, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Those tomatoes are beautiful! This dish looks so flavorful and easy, can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    February 13, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Simply perfect. Love no-recipe recipes 🙂

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious
    February 13, 2015 at 6:37 am

    The colors in those pictures are gorgeous!

    There’s nothing better than fresh tomatoes off the tomato plant. Last year, we were up to our eyeballs in cherry tomatoes. As cherry tomato plants go, I’m sure we’ll have even more than we did last year. No complaints here!

    • Reply
      February 13, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Have you ever grown the teeny tiny ones, I think they’re called candy tomatoes? omg they are incredible!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Prettier than jewels.

    • Reply
      February 13, 2015 at 6:34 am

      thanks Monique, I was a little worried about how the ‘burst’ tomatoes would read in photos!

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