Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, and Brie

August 28, 2012

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 8 hrs
Cook time: 15 min


  • 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
  • 1 dash Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound curly pasta (I like cavatappi)
In This Recipe


  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.

More Great Recipes:
Pasta|Italian|American|Garlic|Tomato|Basil|Brie|One-Pot Wonders|Make Ahead|Fourth of July|Summer|Vegetarian

Reviews (49) Questions (3)

49 Reviews

Merry July 16, 2018
Terrific recipe for mid-July when the ingredients are absolutely perfect. And those leftovers are also amazing.
Rebecca H. January 15, 2018
Has anyone tried this with Gluten-Free pasta? I wanted to make this for my gluten-free housemate and was planning on using GF TJ’s brown rice quinoa fussilli but don’t know if the flavors will meld well. Thoughts appreciated :)
chris August 26, 2017
Do you cut the rind/skin off the brie? You can apparently buy a tub of brie, with no skin, but I've never seen it in a grocery store. Food service item, perhaps.
Jeri J. June 3, 2017
I and my sisters have been making this for years and have learned to basically just eyeball it instead of strict measurements depending on if we're making for a group or just 1 or 2 people. We never have used as much olive oil as called for, which may be why some think it is "soupy", and when made with Brie it's best eaten when just made and still warm. We also use shapes like radiatore or the ruffled flower shape instead of linguini, better to hold in the sauce! Try it with Feta, it makes it a great cool salad as the Feta doesn't really melt, and that way refrigerates well for leftovers. The Brie version isn't as good after refrigeration to us, as a leftover, but it still never would go to waste with our families! Definitely needs the best summery flavorful fresh tomatoes you can get and good fresh garlic, don't use any with the green sprouting centers, that makes garlic too bitter!
Tina H. November 15, 2016
Made this again for dinner last night and actually gave it a couple of hours of good maceration time. Better than ever!
Natalie R. July 31, 2016
I've been making a variant of this dish all summer (although I only now found this recipe). No oil, just extremely oozy brie that melts over everything when it mixes with the tomato juice. This works with halved/quartered mini tomatoes of any type as well. I usually use wheat berries or farro in place of pasta because I take it to work for lunch and don't want the pasta to soften from the tomato juice. You can combine the wheat berries with everything during step 3. Another note, I grow oregano on my balcony, so I often use that instead of basil in much smaller quantities..
Ellen P. July 24, 2016
A classic! This is my go-to recipe for potlucks, etc. Making it for tonight, in fact!
Pamela September 1, 2015
I just made this dish. The raw garlic overwhelmed the dish and too much olive oil in my opion. I will take this dish put it in the refrig until <br /> tomorrow then I will go to publix get some Italian sausage or chorizo cover with cheap mozzarella cheese and try to salvage this recipe that has no flavor.
Author Comment
Merrill S. September 1, 2015
Sorry to hear you didn't find this to your liking. Out of curiosity, did you use ripe, local tomatoes?
Tory N. July 23, 2015
I LOVE this recipe, but my mom always substituted fresh mozzarella for the brie and i can never do it any differently. we also add prosciutto sometimes. what a classic. i made this for the first post i ever wrote on my blog!<br /><br />
nmallory July 23, 2015
Its also great as a dip with French bread! Been making this for years.
Liz S. May 27, 2015
You can find Triple cream brie at Trader Joe's! This recipe looks to die for!
koc September 21, 2014
Absolutely delicious! Even a family member who doesn't like Brie thought it was great.<br />
linda September 3, 2014
Love love love this recipe!!! It's delicious even cold!
Erin September 2, 2014
This looks SO good!
bgavin August 17, 2014
One pound of pasta serves six, as a main course? Not in my house. We are such pasta sluts.
a G. August 17, 2014
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!
baker August 8, 2014
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.
Ramat C. June 7, 2015
I haven't tried the recipe but as a studying culinarian, may I suggest a smoked mozzarella? An
toweringinferno August 7, 2014
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!
Rebecca C. August 5, 2014
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).
Kathy W. July 3, 2014
Can this dish be served at room temp?
Rebecca C. August 5, 2014
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.