Tortolini à la Cherry Tomatoes

Sanity Chek


This is a great way to prepare pasta without reaching for a jar of sauce! Great flavor, fun to make and everyone will enjoy. This dish is just spicey enough to be called spicey. Reduce chili pepper flakes to your liking..or add none at all. It will still taste great.


★★★★★ 1 vote

10 Min
18 Min


  • 1 1/2 lb
    cheese tortolini (fresh or frozen)
  • 20-30
    cherry tomatoes cut in half (about a pint)
  • 1/2 large
    vidalia or sweet onion sliced thin - not chopped
  • 4 clove
    garlic sliced thin lengthwise
  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp
    black pepper or twenty twists of fresh ground
  • 2 dash(es)
    ground nutmeg
  • 2 large
    sprigs fresh basil (10-15 leaves per sprig)
  • 1/4 tsp
    chili flakes
  • 2 c
    pasta water, reserved after boiling
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 1 c
    half and half
  • 1 Tbsp
    corn starch

How to Make Tortolini à la Cherry Tomatoes


  1. Prepare a large pot of boiling water to boil your tortolini.
  2. While that's heating, in a large sauté pan, add the olive oil (or any light neutral flavored oil...I use grape-seed oil) and heat on medium heat. Toss in the onion sliced, garlic, chili pepper flakes, salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1 large sprig of fresh basil leaves separated from the stalk, & tomato halves. Saute on medium to heat for about 20 minutes, switching to med-low half way. You want to keep your onions translucent or golden, but not browned. Add the two tbsp’s butter here at this point. You want to start to see liquid at the bottom as you are stirring.
  3. Drop your tortolini in the ready and waiting boiling cook 3-4 min. If frozen, you may want to cook a couple min longer. Remove from water quickly with a large slotted spoon into the saute pan with the other ingredients. Save the pssta water! Turn the heat on your sauté pan back up to medium.
  4. Take one cup of the pasta water and add to the saute pan. Stir the pasta and the other ingredients gently so the tortolini don’t break. Let this simmer 2 min.
  5. Mix cornstarch into one cup half and half so it is dissolved completely. Pour into pasta mixture. Toss gently a few times. You will see the sauce quickly start to turn into glaze that sticks to the tortolini within 1-2 min. If your sauce is thicker than u like, add another 1/2-cup of pasta water and toss. Remove from heat. At this point you're ready to serve!
  6. Serve each plate (or bowl) with freshly grated cheese, add 2-3 drizzles of olive oil, and decorate with fresh basil leaves.

Printable Recipe Card

About Tortolini à la Cherry Tomatoes

Course/Dish: Pasta
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Italian
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

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