Balsamic tomato pasta recipe

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This super-speedy, healthy balsamic tomato pasta is ready in less than half an hour and tastes amazing with its sweet balsamic vinegar tang.

Two bowls of balsamic tomato pasta on a cloth with pots of seasoning on the side
  • healthy
  • healthy
Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories270 Kcal14%
Fat7 g10%
Saturated Fat3.5 g18%
Carbohydrates37 g14%

This balsamic tomato pasta is so quick to make and you only need a handful of ingredients for it. 

Because it's such a simple recipe, with so few items on the shopping list, each of the ingredients really needs to have a chance to shine. It's best to use good-quality heritage tomatoes - lovely bright red (or mixed red and yellow) ones that have ripened to perfection, as they will have the most flavour and natural sweetness. We also recommend using good-quality balsamic vinegar that is suitable for heating - see out tips below for more info. Ready in just 20 minutes, this is one of our favourite low calorie pasta dishes.


  • 300g spinach linguine
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 60ml balsamic vinegar
  • 600g mixed heritage tomatoes, large ones halved
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • basil leaves, to garnish (optional)




  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4.
  2. Pour the olive oil, balsamic and tomatoes into a hob and oven-safe dish, shake to combine. Season with a pinch of salt and fresh pepper then cook for 10mins, shaking halfway.
  3. Drain the pasta and reserve around 50ml of the starchy water. Add half the water to the dish and mix to lift all the balsamic that might have dried. Bring to a medium heat and reduce the liquid until thickening. Stir in 1 tbsp of the grated parmesan, toss in the pasta then serve in bowls with the remaining cheese and basil leaves.

Top tips for making balsamic tomato pasta

We've used spaghetti but you can swap for your favourite pasta shape. Jessica loves bucatini which is a little thicker than spaghetti and it has a hole running through the centre.

For an indulgent finish serve with a ball of mozzarella or burrata. You could also mix in some sun-dried tomatoes to intensify the flavour and add a rich undertone to the dish. Both of these options will affect the calorie count.

How can you tell a good-quality balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is a really complex ingredient that can vary in price wildy, from a few pounds to well over £150. It only comes from two regions in northern Italy: Reggio Emilia or Modena. If it comes from anywhere else, it's not real balsamic. Among the very best are those from Reggio Emilia, which will be marked Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar) and "D.O.P." meaning they are of protected origin. The only ingredient is grape must, and they will have a thick, viscous texture. However these are best as a finishing ingredients - not cooked or used in complex salad dressings. 

Aceto Balsamico di Modena will be marked as "I.G.P." meaning it must come from a specific area around Modena. They can still be exceptionally expensive, but a moderately priced version is ideal for this pasta, to bring out all the best flavours in the tomato. Our senior Food Writer Jessica Ransom recommends Belazu 1.34 Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, as a great all-round ingredient, but for this recipe, use their (still excellent but more affordable) Belazu 1.25 Balsamic Vinegar of Modena or a good supermarket own-brand version.

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Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.