Basil and Roasted Tomato Pasta

I will be the first to admit that during the ridiculously crazy month that is August in Edinburgh my diet suffers.

Trying to keep two blogs going, playing a couple of games of tennis a week and, you know, go to work every day all whilst enjoying the 7 festivals going on around me is as exhausting as it is unhealthy and bankrupting. Whislt it’s tempting to get frustrated by all the tourists who clog the pavements, stopping without warning to take photos of literally everything (I saw someone posing by traffic lights at the weekend), I try not to, instead looking at the lighter side: “Excuse me, sir, can you tell me what time the One O’Clock Gun goes off?” 

Basil and Roasted Tomato Pasta

No, that’s not a myth – I was asked that very question on Friday. But I digress – the largest arts festival in the world is all around me and we’re all a little drunk – this was meant to be about finding something very quick and almost healthy to eat for dinner.

I had very little time at home the other evening between getting home from work and needing to leave to get to a show, so needed something really speedy. I had tomatoes, I had spinach and I had some leftover fresh pasta. Sometimes it is the simplest of dishes that are the best.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some standup to see and some tourists to point in the direction of the castle.

Basil and Roasted Tomato Pasta

Roasted Tomato & Spinach Pasta

This recipe was made up from the things that needed using up in my fridge it is, therefore, an original to The Usual Saucepans. It’s one of those handy recipes for using bits and pieces up without ending up with a mish-mash dinner. It serves 2 and takes about 10 minutes to make plus half an hour in the oven.


Tagliatelle for 2
12-14 cherry tomatoes
2 handfuls of bayleaf spinach
3 spring onions
30g parmesan
1.5 tbsp rapeseed (or olive) oil
salt and pepper


Start by slicing all the tomatoes in half and then lining them up on a baking tray (I covered mine to make it easier to clean). Drizzle in the oil and then season liberally with salt and pepper; roll the tomato halves around to ensure they are fully covered then stick in the oven at 170º for about half an hour (you want them cooked, and somewhat flatter, but not entirely roasted). If you want extra flavour roast some slices of garlic in with them or drizzle in balsamic vinegar (neither were in my kitchen at the time).

Once roasted and you’ve got on with whatever you were doing in the mean time, boil your pasta using the instructions on the packet, there should still be a slight bite to the pasta – cook it al dente. Slice the spring onions thinly.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Add in the remaining half tablespoon of oil (you may need less) and swirl it all around the pan to coat all the tagliatelle strands. Decamp into a large bowl and cover with the spinach and spring onions. Layer your tomatoes on top (bringing some of the juices with them), then add the parmesan on top and season in any other way you desire.

A sort-of healthy dinner in a very short space of time that won’t leave you hungry in half an hour’s time.