12 Top-Rated Pastas that Showcase Summer Tomatoes

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Photo: Buckwheat Queen

There's something truly special about tomatoes at their summer peak. These simple pasta recipes let the sweet, yet tart flavors of fresh tomatoes shine bright, whether you're opting for something chilled and refreshing or something hot and saucy.

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Summer Pasta with Basil, Tomatoes and Cheese

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A little cream sherry enriches a tasty mix of fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, mint, olive oil and chile pepper flakes. Toss everything together with hot pasta and Asiago and fontina cheeses. "At the peak of summer tomato harvest, it doesn't get any better than this!" says Gayle Wagner.

02 of 12

Caprese Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Caprese Salad
Photo by Molly.

"The dynamic trio of fresh basil pesto, mozzarella cheese, and juicy tomato are reunited once again in an American favorite--pasta salad," says Pepi-Rainbow. "This light and fresh salad is great for a lunch, a side dish, or even a snack."

03 of 12

Chicken Caesar Pasta

Penne pasta mixes it up with cooked cubes of chicken, chopped fresh tomatoes, shredded romaine lettuce, Caesar salad dressing, and red wine vinegar. Garnish with croutons and Parmesan curls, if you like. "This was so delicious!" says Lindy505. "Easy to put together, and if you enjoy Caesar salad, you're sure to love this recipe."

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Awesome Ham Pasta Salad

Awesome Ham Pasta Salad
Photo by Molly.

This ham and ziti pasta salad features colorful bell peppers, red onion, sweet pickles, cherry tomatoes, and a sweet and tangy dressing. "I never seem to make enough of this salad," says Karena. "The garlic is optional. Also, to lighten up the salad, substitute light mayonnaise, light sour cream, and turkey ham."

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Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Photo by Buckwheat Queen.

Here's a very quick pasta dish with fresh tomatoes and basil tossed with Italian salad dressing and Parmesan cheese. "This pasta dish is wonderful served with a green salad," says kelcampbell. "The best thing about it is that you can put this meal together in just a few minutes."

06 of 12

Penne, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad

"Garden fresh basil and summer sweet cherry tomatoes make this pasta salad a seasonal favorite," says MARBALET. "Takes only a few minutes to put together, a quick summertime meal."

07 of 12

Summer Fresh Pasta with Tomatoes and Prosciutto

This quick, easy, and flavorful pasta dish showcases summer's garden bounty. "This recipe came about in an effort to use up a few more of those wonderful home-grown tomatoes and fresh basil," says Wyattdogster. "Everything was on hand and was easy to throw together. For garlic lovers, the second time I made this dish, I used a garlic-infused olive oil; amazing! A crisp green salad is the perfect accompaniment. Enjoy!"

08 of 12

Tuscan Pasta Salad

"A flavorful diversion from the run-of-the-mill Italian pasta salad," says A. Piatt. "I like to serve this with grilled, fried, or barbecued chicken, and a crusty artisan bread. I would double the portions if you want to have leftovers when serving 4 or more; this goes fast in my home! Enjoy!"

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Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Corn

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes-and-corn-photo-by-sleepeng-resize
sleepeng

"This is a great end of summer pasta," says SimmiG. "It is a a great way to use all those garden tomatoes and fresh corn. It takes almost no time to prepare and tastes delicious! Feel free to use your favorite pasta. I use thin spaghetti."

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Spaghetti Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

This simple spaghetti sauce is made with fresh tomatoes. "Wonderful taste," says Susan Bryan Willingham. "Serve over spaghetti noodles and add grated Parmesan cheese as desired."

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Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pearl Couscous

"This cold vegetarian salad features mixed heirloom tomatoes with Mediterranean flavors and pearl couscous," says Ryan Davis. "This summer dish that has been a big hit with my family!"

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Fresh Tomato Shrimp Pasta

Fresh Tomato Shrimp Pasta
Photo by Christine Ai Tran.

"Fresh tomatoes and spinach, fresh herbs, and fresh mozzarella combine with shrimp and fettuccine for an easy summer dinner," says Lisa Nichols.

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