Surviving Lent with a Balsamic-Tomato Pasta Dish

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Lent is finally here, the season where Catholics around the world give up chocolate, ice cream, coffee, etc.  Growing up my mom taught us to do more random acts of kindness, rather than giving something up.  While I couldn’t quickly summarize her logic, I think it’s a really sweet idea that I’ve followed for awhile now.  As a family, we still give up meat on Fridays during Lent to keep with tradition.

Last year during Lent, I was still sick enough from Celiac Disease  that I fell into what we considered to be the exemption category.  Therefore, this my first year of gluten, dairy, egg, and meatless Fridays!  (Crossing my fingers that I make it the whole way though). 

Last night for dinner, I made a dish that is ideal to eat when cherry tomatoes are ripe in the summertime.  In fact, I made this dish for the first time at the dinner party where I served prosciutto-wrapped asparagus!

Now, yesterday, when I didn’t have cherry tomatoes in my refrigerator, I used grape tomatoes.  Due to the strength of the balsamic vinegar and the similar tastes of the tomatoes, this made a fine substitution. I absolutely love this dish because it is simple to prepare, and has a ton of flavor without drenching the pasta in sauce.

Now, to any of my gluten free and vegan friends, let me know any ideas that you have for my meatless Fridays. And, as always, Happy Cooking!

Balsamic-Tomato Pasta Dish*

Allergens: Celiac friendly and free of the Top 8 allergens. Always check the labels on the ingredients that you choose to purchase.


  • IMG_73331 pound of Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 Shallots
  • Cooking Spray
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 12 oz. GF Pasta
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Basil


  1. IMG_7340Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Cut half of the cherry tomatoes in half.  Cut the shallots into wedges.
  3. Coat a pan with cooking spray. Place the cut tomatoes, whole tomatoes, and shallot wedges on the pan.  Drizzle 1 tps. of extra virgin olive oil and toss.  Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Add 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to the pan.  Place in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  5. Cook GF pasta according to the package.
  6. Toss the balsamic tomato mixture and GF pasta.
  7.  Garnish with basil, another herb, or cheese.  Serve warm.

IMG_7354Tips and Tricks

  • Begin boiling the pot of water toward the end of the first 30 minutes in the oven.
  • If you can have dairy, try ravioli.  The original recipe called for ravioli, or you could add cheese to the top of the dish.
  • My favorite gluten free pasta is Schar! And, of course, this recipe works for gluten-filled pastas as well.

Acknowledgment*: Adapted from Tomato Ravioli in Cooking Light from August 2013.

11 thoughts on “Surviving Lent with a Balsamic-Tomato Pasta Dish

    1. Thanks! Here I used Schar’s Fussili pasta, which I believe may come into cross contamination with soy. It’s made up of corn flour, rice flour, pea protein, and mono- and diglycerides. I love Schar’s pastas and breads, although I sometimes use quinoa pastas too. Right now I have Ancient Harvest’s elbows in my pantry. Thanks for visiting! P.S: I loved your post about the pasta taste test!

      1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed! 🙂 I’ve tried Schar’s and enjoyed it (no problems with soy for me, luckily, because I’m vegetarian and love my tofu and tempeh).

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