Pasta with Brie and Tomatoes

This is my favorite summer recipe EVER. It is adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook — that first one that everyone bought back in the 1980’s when they first appeared. If yours is like mine, the binding is cracked and the pages are falling out and you can’t get a new one because you have all these notes and memories marked on the pages, and sentimental splotches of meals gone by staining the pages…and I STILL haven’t made everything I want to make out of this classic cookbook. But I have made this one, probably 50 times over the years, because it is simple and gorgeous and tastes like heaven on a summertime plate.

You do have use really great fresh ingredients to make it work. Really good basil, which now that it is July I have more than I can use right outside my back door, so if you need any PLEASE come on over and pick some:

Really good olive oil. I use either Columela or Colavita, but whatever kind you like is fine. Fresh ripe tomatos (I am rushing the season just a tiny bit on this, but as soon as your local farm stand or greenmarket has them, make this FIRST! A really nice wedge of Brie – a soft creamy one, not too hard. There is a variety of Brie called D’Affinois that will make you close your eyes in bliss if you can find it — ask wherever you go to get good cheese. Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and then the pasta of your choice. I usually use fettecine or linguine, but a short round pasta like rigatoni would work, or even bow-ties. Fresh garlic. Fresh ground pepper. And unlike most things that I make, this is not one that should be rushed — the assembly is speedy, but the ingredients need to marinate and blend for maximum effect.

So first, get out a nice big shallow bowl. I happen to have one that says Pasta on it, just in case I forget what it is for! Pour about 1/2 cup of olive oil in it. Chop up a clove or two of garlic, depending on how much of a garlic fan you are, and add them to the oil. Now take about 3 large tomatos and chop them up as well — bite-size chunks — and drop them in as well. Now take the Brie, cut off the rind (this is best done when it is right out the fridge) and tear the cheese into small chunks. Into the bowl with everything else. Next, chop up a good amount of that fresh basil (you will see this is a LOOSE recipe — I pretty much guestimate the entire thing based on how many people are eating) and add to the bowl with everything else.

Last of all, grind a few twists of fresh pepper into the whole thing. By now you have a gorgeous mixture that is making your kitchen smell unbelievably good, and it should look something like this:

Now comes the hard part — lay a dish towel lightly over the top of the bowl…and go away for at least an hour. We must MARINATE. Let all those delicious components soak together and blend. An hour is the minimum. I have made this at lunchtime and left it on the counter until dinner, with strict warnings all around not to TOUCH it.

When you are ready to serve it up, cook whatever pasta you are using in salted water until it is done. I usually estimate about 2 ounces of pasta per person. Drain it and then dump it into the bowl and lightly toss it all together, and here is the most beautiful part: the heat of the cooked pasta will melt the cheese and it will all form the most delicious sauce you have ever tasted in your life. You have my solemn word on this.

So there you go — my favorite pasta recipe in the world. Enjoy!


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  1. says

    Visiting you from PW’s site after I saw your comment about this dish. It sure does sound and look divine. Better than the alfredo in my book. I’ll be trying this. I have looked around your site a bit and found some wonderful recipes that I will be making. I’m especially interested in the fact that several of your pasta recipes do not include garlic or onions. I have a severe heartburn problem and have a very restricted diet. No cooked tomatoes, no garlic, onion, citrus, acids…pretty dull. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your recipes. I do have a really great skillet mac n cheese recipe but cannot find the original site. If you would like it, please let me know.

  2. says

    Thanks so much for your nice words! And I am glad you found some recipes that will work for you. The one I posted tonight would probably do just fine without the garlic, and if you can’t have cooked tomatoes I would try chopping them raw and adding them at the very end. Meantime, I would LOVE the skillet mac and cheese recipe — you can email me at and I will give it a try for sure!

  3. Anonymous says


    This was just the most delicious pasta I’ve ever had. Thank you.
    I can’t wait to make it again.
    The left-over was my lunch the following day, and let me tell you, it only got better overnight. In fact, I’ll leave it to marinate for more than an hour next time maybe even half a day if I can resist somehow.

    Everyone, please try this!

  4. says

    Hi Kate,

    I googled for “pasta + Brie” – since I had a big wedge of Brie in the fridge – and found your blog. Tried your recipe at once: Brilliant.

    Thank you so much!


  5. says

    very good. my tomatoes were store bought but it still tasted very good. will definitely try it again…hopefully when the great tomatoes are back.

  6. Anonymous says

    I came across this recipe a few days ago and book marked it as something I wanted to try sooner rather than later. I made a run to the grocery store last night, but was unable to find the D’Affinois brie you suggested. I settled on one of the more available brands but when I couldn’t find any fresh basil I decided to try again tomorrow.

    BOY, am I glad I did. Firstly, you’ve ruined all other brie for me with the D’Affinois. This is the most delicious brie I’ve ever tasted. Secondly, the way the brie and olive oil and other ingredients combine to make this delicious sauce is divine. I am already excited to share it with friends and family and it’ll be a miracle if I don’t whip it up 50 more times this summer alone!

  7. says

    Mmhh. I just had alfredo pasta last night with scallops. My alfredo was chunky and a little life-less. So I ventured over to PW’s website to see how to make it better. Natch it lead me to you. . . and I want to try THIS pasta tonight. But it will have to wait a while. Like until I run a marathon to burn off the pasta from last night. But your marinated pasta is sooo on the Hit list next. :)

  8. Todd says

    Hooray…thank you…I am so glad I found this recipe. Years ago, some friends made this for my partner and I. It was to die for. they gave us the recipe. But, after all these years, I have no idea where it went. But, I had the basic idea in my head. Looking around on the net, I found similar recipes, but…I KNOW that this is it. And, after reading the comments from others who have made it, I am 100000% sure that this is the one I have been looking for. Thank you!

    • Kate says

      Isn’t it the best? I make it WAY more than I should every summer…it’s a classic! Glad you found it (and Framed Cooks!)

  9. Todd says

    Serving this tonite…can’t wait. Anyone around to suggest a nice wine with this. It is very hot here today, so…maybe a nice Rose or ???

    Any suggestions would be so appreciated.


  10. Emily says

    HI I am going to make this recipe this weekend. I was wondering if you ever make it with another kind of pasta? I was considering a bow tie or something that isn’t a long noodle.

    • Kate says

      I actually go back and forth between long pasta and bow ties on this one – the bow ties are perfect and a little easier to eat (bonus points!)


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