Pasta with Butter Roasted Tomatoes

All too often pastas are heavy, leaving you feeling gorged on carbohydrates. To our delight, however, we stumbled across this light and (dare we say) semi-healthy dish.

Altered Recipe

3 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes

12 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

18 oz. baby shells

Fresh basil

Monterey jack cheese 8 oz.

Original Recipe

1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes

 8 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

2 anchovy fillets packed in oil (or 1 tsp anchovy paste)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

12 oz. baby shells

Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)

Fresh basil

Fresh ricotta (the good stuff from your local cheese store!)

To begin our culinary adventure, we substituted the “tin fish” with deliciously lean and succulent chicken breast. Slicing the chicken into bite-size pieces, we sautéed it in olive oil, salt, pepper, four cloves of garlic, and five fresh basil leaves.

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Meanwhile, we boiled the pasta using the specifications on the box, making sure to reward our faithful sous chef.

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To save on manual labor, we chose canned diced tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes.

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The extra time we saved on cutting tomatoes gave us time to take a couple of selfies!

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Spreading our tomatoes in a 9×12 casserole dish, we added 8 cloves of garlic, half a stick of butter, ¾ tsp. red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. We roasted the medley at 425 degrees for roughly 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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After both the pasta and tomato blend had completed their respective cooking time, we combined them with half of the previously-grated Monterey jack cheese.


Next, making use of the previously-utilized casserole dish, we blended the chicken and a half cup of chicken broth with the pasta mixture. And we stirred…and stirred… and stirred!

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We then substituted the remaining Monterey jack for the ricotta cheese, garnishing our pasta with melted goodness

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Making use of our brother’s strong forearms, the casserole dish went back into the oven for five minutes to ensure the optimal temperature was achieved.

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Upon serving, each plate was garnished with fresh basil, and LOVE!


While a great success served hot, chilled, this casserole could double as the perfect summer dish.

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(Click the photo above to open my recipe board (Yum Yum) on Pinterest)

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