Tangy Tomato Pasta

$3.61 recipe / $0.79 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.93 from 14 votes
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If you’re in the need of a super quick and easy side dish, this might be the one for you.

I wanted something really fast and easy tonight so I turned to my pantry. I had some pasta, some tomato paste, and I knew I had some feta in the fridge. Easy. I’ll just mix up a batch of my (not) sun dried tomato sauce, toss some pasta in it, crumble on a little feta for extra oomph, and I’ll be good to go!

I halved the olive oil from the original (not) sun dried tomato sauce, which helped it stick to the pasta better. If you have some fresh herbs (parsley or basil), add it in for color and a pop of freshness. If you need something a little more hearty, try adding in some sauteed and sliced Italian sausage links. Pair this with some garlic bread and maybe some roasted broccoli and you’ve got a nice, light dinner!

Tangy Tomato Pasta

Tangy Tomato Pasta

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Tangy Tomato Pasta

4.93 from 14 votes
A tangy tomato pasta full of herbs and spices.
Servings 4
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 20 minutes


  • 8 oz. thin spaghetti ($0.97)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil ($0.36)
  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme ($0.02)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 3 oz. tomato paste ($0.26)
  • 1/2 tsp honey ($0.02)
  • 3 oz. feta cheese ($1.31)


  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over a high flame.
  • While waiting for the water to boil, begin the tomato sauce in a separate skillet. Mince a clove of garlic and combine it with the olive oil, basil, oregano, salt, rosemary, thyme, crushed red pepper, and cracked black pepper. Heat over a medium flame. Stir the mixture and allow it to start sizzling. Stir and sizzle for about one minute.
  • Add the tomato paste, turn the heat down to medium-low, and continue to cook and stir until the mixture turns a darker shade of red (about 2 minutes more). Turn off the heat and then stir in the honey.
  • When the water begins to boil hard, add the spaghetti. Cook for 7-10 minutes or until tender. Once the pasta is tender, drain briefly and then add it to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Stir to coat. (Reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water to add back into the pasta if it becomes dry while mixing with the tomato sauce).
  • Crumble about 2 ounces of feta cheese into the skillet and stir to combine. Divide the pasta onto individual plates and crumble about a 1/4 ounce more of feta over top of each serving. Enjoy!

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 380.13kcalCarbohydrates: 48.93gProtein: 11.53gFat: 15.73gSodium: 613.95mgFiber: 3.03g
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Tangy Tomato Pasta

Step By Step Photos

oil and herbs
Begin to boil a large pot of water for the pasta. In the meantime, begin the sauce. Mince a clove of garlic and combine it in a skillet with the rest of the herbs and spices (oregano, basil, salt, thyme, rosemary, crushed red pepper, and cracked black pepper). Stir and heat that mixture over a medium flame. Let it come up to a sizzle and then continue stirring for about one minute.

tomato paste
Next add the tomato paste (half of a little 6 oz. can) and stir into the oil herb mixture. Turn the heat down slightly so that it doesn’t burn and continue to cook and stir until the tomato paste turns from a bright red to this darker shade of burgundy. Turn the heat off and then stir in the honey.

cook pasta
By this time the water is probably boiling and you can add the pasta. Cook the pasta for 7-10 minutes or until tender.

pasta water
Save some of the starchy pasta cooking water in case the pasta gets dry while you’re mixing it all together.

mix in pasta
Briefly drain the cooked pasta and add it to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Stir to coat. If it gets dry or sticky, add a touch of the pasta cooking water to loosen it up. Just a touch.

Add feta
Crumble about 2 ounces of feta over top and stir it in. Use the rest of the feta to sprinkle over the top of each serving.

Tangy Tomato Pasta
Simple, fast, easy.

I wonder what a splash of wine would do to this tomato sauce… Mmmmm.

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  1. This was super easy and delicious. I ended up adding the whole 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. I served with roasted carrots to get 4 meals out of it.

  2. A go-to in our household. We substitute goat’s cheese for Feta. Absolutely delicious, always!

  3. I plan to make this tonight! About how many tablespoons is 3 oz of tomato paste? Thanks!

      1. I only have 3 Tbsp of frozen tomato paste left. Would that not be enough? Do you think it’d be okay to substitute marinara sauce for the rest?

      2. I ended up using the rest of my 3 Tbsp of tomato paste and 3 Tbsp of some frozen marinara sauce on hand… outstanding dinner! My husband and I both loved it — even my 6 yr old picky eater!

  4. This recipe is SO EASY, SO QUICK, SO SATISFYING (on a cold, snowy night in Canada) and SO CHEAP, you’ll have the time and money to buy some red wine to go with it!! It was literally a desperation meal, as I didn’t have time to get to the grocery before the storm, and still came together with stuff from my freezer (tomato paste) and dried goods! Awesome ending to cinderella supper story :)

  5. I make this at least once a month but never bothered to comment until now. I’ll often make without the feta because that’s the only ingredient in this dish that I don’t regularly have on hand. Regardless, it tastes amazing and it makes for a delicious quick dinner for a college student.

  6. I love light dinners and this is perfect! It’s so easy to throw together and feta cheese adds the perfect amount of saltiness. I made mine with angel hair spaghetti and it was delicious!