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Tomato mozzarella pasta with pesto crumbs - oven roasted cherry tomatoes bocconcini caprese

Tomato Mozzarella Pasta with Pesto Crumbs

A quick, fresh & simple vegetarian pasta done in 30 minutes

Course Main Course, Main
Cuisine Italian, Modern Australian, Australian
Keyword tomato mozzarella pasta
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories Per Serve 528 kcal
Author Lee-Ann Grace | Chef Not Required


  • 250 g dry angel hair pasta
  • 500g/1.1lbs mixed cherry/mini tomatoes
  • 4 large garlic cloves unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil divided
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup day old bread crumbs
  • 1 1/4 tbsp basil pesto divided
  • 200 g tub cherry bocconcini / mini mozzarella balls (usually approx 20) roughly torn
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves firmly packed
  • fresh lemon slices to serve
  • fresh parmesan to serve


  1. Pre heat oven to 210c / 410f (fan forced) & line a rimmed baking tray/sheet with baking/parchment paper, along with another smaller baking tray & set aside

  2. Slice the hard flat end off each garlic clove, then flatten each clove (using the back of your kitchen knife - see notes) just enough to break the skin then add garlic cloves & tomatoes to prepared tray, drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil, add salt & pepper & mix around on tray to combine then roast for 25 mins

  3. Meanwhile to prepare the pesto crumbs, combine bread crumbs, 1 tsp basil pesto & 1 tsp olive oil in a small bowl & mix until crumbs are well coated & pesto is evenly distributed. Place crumb mixture in an even layer on the second baking tray/sheet & set aside

  4. When the tomatoes have been roasting for 20 mins, add second baking sheet with crumb mixture to the oven & continue to roast for the final 5 mins

  5. Combine remaining 1 tbsp of basil pesto & 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil & set aside

  6. Cook pasta in salted water according to packet directions

  7. Remove tomatoes & crumb mixture from oven and remove skins from garlic. Add garlic to basil pesto mixture, mashing soft garlic well with a fork

  8. Add tomatoes & any pan drippings to pasta, tossing to combine. Toss through bocconcini, basil leaves & garlic pesto mixture, sprinkle with crumbs & serve with fresh parmesan & lemon slices

Recipe Notes

To lightly crush the garlic cloves, just trim the hard end off the clove & put the unpeeled clove on a non-porous work surface, place the flat of your knife over the top of the clove and gently press down on the knife with the heel of your hand. The idea is to just break the skin so that it doesn't explode in the oven, but will still stay in basically one piece so that we can fish them out of the tray at the end without too much difficulty. The cloves will release a small amount of the oil when you lightly crush them, so it's a good idea to do this on a surface you don't mind getting garlic oil on. 

*Please note that the amount of calories per serve is provided as a guide only, as ingredients and cooking methods can vary greatly*