Penne with Goat Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, and Olives

June 20, 2013

I actually made this pasta dish from Gourmet Today last summer when an abundance of cherry tomatoes came in the CSA box, but for whatever reason I never wrote it up. I remember that we really enjoyed it, probably because I’ve developed a taste for goat cheese and my husband really likes olives and other briny-type flavors. So if you like goat cheese and olives, you’ll probably love this recipe, but if those aren’t your thing, then definitely skip this one. :)

The aspect that initially drew me to this recipe was how fast it is – less than 20 minutes from start to finish. The part that takes the longest is bringing the water to a boil and then cooking the pasta! If you start the water boiling first, you can chop up and salt the tomatoes (and chop the olives) while the pasta is cooking. Once the pasta is done, all that remains is to toss it with the cheese and other ingredients until the cheese melts, and you’re finished! Perfect for a super-easy and fast vegetarian weeknight meal, just add a green salad. Enjoy!

Penne with goat cheese and cherry tomatoes

Serves 8 as a first course, 4 to 6 as a main course


  • 1  pound penne
  • 2¾  pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt
  • 5-6  ounces soft mild goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2/3  cup coarsely chopped Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives
  • 3/4  cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook pasta in an 8-quart pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt) until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, toss tomatoes with salt to taste in a bowl. Let stand to release juices.
  3. Toss hot pasta with goat cheese in a large bowl until cheese melts and coats pasta. Add tomatoes with juices, olives, basil, and salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

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