Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, and Brie

By • August 28, 2012 • 26 Comments



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

Comments (26) Questions (1)

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25 days ago Kathy Wehrmann

Can this dish be served at room temp?

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11 months 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

11 months 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

11 months 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.

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11 months 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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11 months ago Barbie

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

Merrill

11 months 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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11 months 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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11 months 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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11 months 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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12 months ago vivanat

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

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12 months 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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12 months 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

12 months 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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12 months 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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12 months 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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12 months 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!

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12 months ago rainey

A friend served this to me about 30 years ago. It was fantastic! But she kept the recipe to herself.

I've never forgotten that meal and am beyond thrilled to finally have this recipe. Thanks so much!

Stringio

about 1 year ago Anne M Arzaga

I am so happy that I found this recipe. I remember my aunt making this dish along side with a caprese salad and lemonade. Now two years later I am glad to have found this recipe and I am legit using it tonight for a dinner party! I am actually so excited to cook this =D

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about 1 year ago Peggio

This is my absolute fav pasta recipe ... especially good when made with fresh tomatoes and basil from my own garden! It's both a no fuss and incredibly flavorful recipe, great for company.

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over 1 year ago pokémon479

I ove this resapie, so I emailed to my mama, and she made it, and we loved it.

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it!

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almost 2 years ago walkie74

This sounds divine! I just made an altered version using just the basil, garlic, cherry tomatoes and Brie for dinner as a salad...we'll see how it turns out!

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almost 2 years ago SandraJ

Just made this and it was delicious. Thank you!

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almost 2 years ago Juergen Hartl

Thank you for the idea to use Brie. I used to make this with feta.

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almost 2 years ago Mianna

oh, thank you for the reminder! The Silver Palate Cookbook was one of my first - it is very dog-eared now and I haven't looked at it in years. I used to make this summer staple so often with tomatoes and basil grown on my little deck. Who knows what other treasures are forgotten in that cookbook? Now I know what's for dinner tomorrow -easy.