Simple Supper. Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, & Fresh Ricotta

Weeknight dinner doesn’t get much easier than this simple pasta salad (gluten-free for me) with grape tomatoes, peppery basil, and fresh ricotta cheese. Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, and Fresh Ricotta // The Spicy RD

Oh, and don’t forget the pine nuts.

Never, EVER forget the pine nuts.

What’s your favorite weeknight simple supper?

Not long after I graduated from college, I took a trip with my best friend to NYC.

I remember it was spring, and there was a lot of rain. I also remember hanging out in Central Park watching the remote controlled sail boats, shopping for shoes, and being introduced to the simplest and most delicious pasta dish with chopped tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese.Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil and Fresh Ricotta CheeseWhy is it that we remember certain meals just like we had eaten them yesterday?

Perhaps it was the fact that I felt like quite the “adult” eating this meal prepared by my friend’s brother in his cozy boho tiny NYC apartment which was likely served with copious amounts of wine.


Nonetheless, the meal stayed with me, and I have made it several times over since.

This time though, having discovered not one, but two containers of ricotta cheese in my fridge {time to clean it out???}, I decided to go crazy and mix things up a bit.

Oh and like I said, don’t forget the pine nuts. Because everything tastes better with pine nuts, don’t you think?!

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, & Fresh Ricotta
Cook time
Total time
Dinner doesn't get much easier than this super simple pasta salad with tomatoes, basil, ricotta cheese, and pine nuts.
Serves: 4 servings
  • 8 ounces pasta (regular or gluten-free)
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Cook the pasta according to directions, and drain.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, slice the tomatoes in half and chop the basil and put both in a large bowl.
  3. Add the cooked pasta to the bowl with the tomatoes and bail, then stir in the olive oil, ricotta cheese, and pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve immediately, or keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Feel free to substitute with any cheese, herbs/green leafy veggies, and nuts or seeds you have on hand!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 350

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil and Fresh Ricotta CheeseIf you are making this gluten-free, it is delicious with TruRoots Ancient Grain Pasta which contains 2 of my Super 7 Gluten-Free Grains and Grain Alternatives~quinoa and amaranth. This can easily be made low FODMAP. but substituting the ricotta with mozzarella, Parmesan, or any other low lactose cheese.

Both my kids gobbled this up, although for some reason Big Tex eyed it suspiciously…

“What’s that green stuff in there???”

But managed to {almost} lick his plate clean, and declare,

“That was surprisingly a lot better than I thought it would be.”


Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil and Fresh Ricotta CheeseOn one final note, not only is this pasta dish simple and delicious, it’s also comfort food. We are in the midst of 9 wildfires fires here in San Diego right now. Several homes and business have been burned down, and many people have been evacuated from their homes, but fortunately there have been no major injuries reported to date. Comfort food is needed. The fire fighters are doing a tremendous job battleing the fires~please keep them, and everyone who has been affected by the fires in your thoughts and prayers!

Do you have any long ago favorite meal memories? Any favorite simple pasta dishes? I love to hear from you-please share!

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  1. I agree, the nutty taste of pine nuts is perfect finish to pasta dishes and a whole lot more!

  2. Ahh, this is my kind of comfort food -I probably eat a version of this weekly (esp. in the summer) often using fresh mozz but love love it with ricotta too. I’ve been thinking about you while hearing about these fires – please stay safe and keep us posted on your situation!

    • Great cooks make pasta salads alike 🙂 Thanks for your kind thoughts Deanna! The firefighters are making progress, and it is starting to cool down, so, finger crossed all the fires will be under control soon 🙂

  3. What a lovely salad! I so love pine nuts but I also SO hate how pricey they are. I have a hidden stash but often I’ll just toast some walnuts too; they’re equally (well, almost) good with a salad like this. I’m making ricotta next week. I’m then making this salad. I’m not kidding. 🙂

  4. Thanks Barb! I hear ya’ about the pine nuts being expensive-only drawback as far as I can see. I buy mine at Trader Joes or Costco, and fortunately a little go a long way since they are so flavorful. I think walnuts would be delicious on this as well, especially toasted 🙂

  5. Ooh, this looks wonderful! I love pasta dishes like this, especially when the fresh tomatoes and basil are in season in our garden. YUM!

  6. This looks amazing! I love how simple and healthy the recipe is!

  7. This would definitely be a perfect Summer dish! I love adding herbs to anything lately, my new option instead of salt:-) Your recipe looks fabulous! My weeknight dinner I tend to eat a lot, a hearty vegetarian quesadilla! Yum, Hugs, Terra

  8. Such a beautiful, simple pasta dish, EA — and thank you for sharing the story behind it. You know, this is similar in ingredients (if they were blended) to a pesto alla siciliana — I think the only difference would be the addition of walnuts. And I agree with you, the combination of ricotta, tomato and pine nut is sublime!

  9. This is going on the dinner recipe. Not next week.. no way I can’t wait that long.. this week totally! Looks amazing!

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