Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, and Brie

By • August 28, 2012 • 35 Comments

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Author Notes: My mother made this pasta, which originated from the Silver Palate Cookbook, every summer while I was growing up. It was only recently that I rediscovered how wonderful a combination it is. Forget your pre-conceived notions of Brie and try this out before summer is over!Merrill Stubbs

Serves 6 as a main course

  • 3/4 pound Brie (triple cream if you can get it)
  • 4 medium ripe-as-can-be tomatoes
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, cleaned and dried
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons excellent olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound curly pasta (I like cavatappi)
  1. Put the Brie in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm up a little. This will make it easier to cut when the time comes.
  2. Roughly chop the tomatoes and put them in a large serving bowl. Finely chop the garlic and add it to the bowl. Chiffonade or roughly chop the basil and add that to the bowl too. Pour in the olive oil and add a generous amount of salt and pepper. Gently stir everything together.
  3. Once the Brie is firm enough, cut it into 1/2-inch cubes and add these to the bowl. Gently fold to combine the cheese with the rest of the ingredients. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2, and up to 8, hours -- the longer the better.
  4. When you are ready to eat, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until just al dente. Strain it and tip it into the bowl with the sauce. Fold everything together until it is well combined, the Brie has begun to melt, and the pasta is slicked with cheese and tomato goodness. Serve immediately with a big green salad.
Jump to Comments (35)

Tags: basil, brie, garlic, pasta, room temperature, Summer, tomatoes

Comments (35) Questions (1)

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about 1 month ago koc

Absolutely delicious! Even a family member who doesn't like Brie thought it was great.

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about 1 month ago linda

Love love love this recipe!!! It's delicious even cold!

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about 1 month ago Erin

This looks SO good!

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2 months ago bgavin

One pound of pasta serves six, as a main course? Not in my house. We are such pasta sluts.

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2 months ago a Greek cook

I have made this recipe every summer for almost 20 years. My kids love it too and I hope one they post a recipe I made for them as you have. Thank you for posting as I am in Greece aat a vacation rental without my cookbooks and couldn't remember the proportions off the top of my head. Making it for a crowd!

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3 months ago baker

Just made this tonight and very very disappointed. We had pasta soup! My son, who took the other half of the recipe had the same problem. I made the recipe exactly as written. The cheese melted and turned into milk, which mixed with the tomato juice... soup with noodles. A big waste of money and time.

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3 months ago hotlikeginger

Sitting down right now with a bowl of this! It's sooooo good... I whipped out a quick version by pan-grilling some halved grape tomatoes, threw in a bit of fresh corn, added the garlic and then tossed all that with pasta, cheese, and basil. My advice is, don't skimp on the basil - its zesty flavour really shines against the brie. Thanks for this!

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3 months ago Rebecca Cherry

Ah...yes...a recipe from a time when calories weren't counted, wheat was wanted, and cheese added class. I love this dish just as it is - plus, some pancetta and green peas. We used cambozola (a brie and blue hybrid).

Stringio

4 months ago Kathy Wehrmann

Can this dish be served at room temp?

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3 months ago Rebecca Cherry

Slightly warmer than room temperature could possibly could work; however, the cooled off remnants of sauce did leave a residue of congealed oil and melted cheese on my empty plate.

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about 1 year ago kvass2

I must agree with HalfPint about the excessive fluid but that can be easily drained
off. What I decided to do with this dish was to move on from the brie and try
gorgonzola. We will never go back. I sometimes think we waste times doing an
entree and just serve things like toms, garlic(big time fresh homemade pesto} &
quinoa brown rice pasta. It always seems to go first. I did try roasted delicata squash & walla sweet onions marinated in balsamic as the veg. All completely eaten . The entree was slow roasted pork chops that at any other time would
have been gobbled up. Are we back to a veggie time?

Audrey_and_sarah

about 1 year ago hennef7

I too made this recipe from The Silver Palate for years. Just thought about it for the abundance of beautiful tomatoes on hand!

Baci1

about 1 year ago HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

I have made this many times now this summer. I think the key thing, for a creamier sauce, is to use less tomatoes or drain off so of the juices. The other night, I used about 1.5 cups (it was one large tomato) for about 12 oz of pasta. I was running low on the brie, only had ~5 oz. It was just perfect. The sauce was really creamy, even with less brie, but not so that it overwhelmed the tomato flavor.

Stringio

about 1 year ago suzgab

Just made this with some leftover brie from a party and some different colored organic cherry tomatoes. A fun and flavorful blast from my pasta and cheese laden past.

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about 1 year ago Barbie

Do I take the rind off the brie after having it in the freezer??

Merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I don't - but if you don't like the rind, by all means remove it!

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about 1 year ago kvass2

Made it again last evening with rind on and slightly old and not triple cream. It all worked perfectly well. However I did use rice & quinoa pasta & tonight by myself
I put it in a casserole with some browned chicken thighs and got my leftover dish
which turned equally as good. All so simple

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about 1 year ago kvass2

One last comment -- Got to say --I think the key in my case was the slightly chopped over ripe heritage tomatoes. Of course piles of fresh herbs including
basil from my kitchen deck.

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about 1 year ago H

We make this as a salad every summer (have since getting The Silver Palate;-) and I regularly make a version using fresh mozzarella with pasta as my summer standby (sometimes adding a wee bit of aged balsamic). This is a favorite, thanks for bringing it back. (And I, too, will be digging out my copy of the SP!)

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about 1 year ago vivanat

This worked very well with a leftover(!) chunk of Mt. Tam I had in the fridge.

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about 1 year ago lynneswift

I had the same experience with too much liquid at the end of the maceration (is that a word?). Tomatoes vary regarding the amount of liquid they exude. Next time I will try cherry or Roma tomatoes and if necessary will drain off excess liquid and save for sauce. The triple creme brie is just too delicious to lose in a broth--it should cling. Aside from this, great recipe with lovely ingredients.

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about 1 year ago baker

I just made this recipe. I had so much juice from the tomatoes that when the cheese melted it just became tomato water with cheese liquid. There was also way to much pasta that it didn't work. I love the idea but I think I need to seed the tomatoes and use less pasta.

Merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I'm sorry you didn't have good results with this. The tomatoes should get quite juicy, which is why you let them sit for so long with the salt and the other ingredients. The amount of pasta has always worked perfectly for me -- maybe this type of sauce is just not to your taste? As you can see from the photo, it's not meant to be a thick sauce, nor to coat the pasta heavily. It's quite different from other tomato sauces, so I can understand if it was not what you expected.

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about 1 year ago kvass2

Merrill - I think that ordinary cherry type toms will cut down the too much fluid problem. Lately I have taken to the Quinoa & Rice pasta and it really is better
for my tastes but to go back to too much fluid -- perhaps it is a matter of how you drain your pasta & at what point you add the cheese -- cheese is basically
fluid. OOps -- I said basically which I have been trying to avoid -- next thing
I will be saying literally. God forbid.

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about 1 year ago kvass2

Angela Hartnett of the Guardian had a very similar recipe (minus the brie) in one of
her midweek supper columns last summer. This time of year I have taken to using
a freshly made basil pesto & a bit of lemon juice to liven it up. But my next attempt will certainly include the brie.

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about 1 year ago Meredith

I actually submitted this recipe for your best summer sides contest! I didn't realize it originated from the Silver Palate cookbook, but it certainly makes sense, as it was a staple in our house growing up! So glad to see you recognize it as well!