Annie Bell’s fresh tomato and basil penne recipe

A sauce that cooks for just 1 minute? It sounds too good to be true but it is as fresh and lively as it is speedy.

fresh tomato and basil penne
Nassima Rothacker

SERVES 4

300g penne
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
Sea salt and black pepper
20g unsalted butter
25g basil leaves, torn in two or three
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Freshly grated parmesan, to serve

  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the pasta, stir then cook according to the packet instructions until just tender.
  2. Meanwhile, season the tomatoes in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a medium pan over a medium heat, add the tomatoes and basil then stir for about 1 minute to heat through. Remove from the heat, stir in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, cover and set aside.
  3. Drain the pasta using a colander and return it to the pan. Spoon over half the tomatoes and dressing and gently combine. Serve in shallow plates with the remaining tomatoes and dressing spooned in the centre, then liberally dust with parmesan and drizzle over a thread of oil.