Simple tomato & rocket pasta

Simple tomato & rocket pasta

Welcome to the effortlessly flavourful world of Natalie Chassay.

On her platform, she not only shows you how to easily make those pretty and delicious kinda recipes that you want to whip up for dinner parties, she also shows you the simple building blocks for creating healthy and nurturing meals for yourself.

Here are the ingredients you'll need:

Serves 4

  • Half a packet of long strand pasta
  • 500g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • A few large handfuls fresh rocket
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 hot red chilli and chilli flakes
  • Parmesan cheese for grating
  • Citizens of Soil extra virgin olive oil - a lot!
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Pepper
  • Butter (optional)

Here's the method:

  • Get your water on the boil in a large pot for the pasta and heavily salt it In a frying pan, heat a very generous, large few glugs of olive oil on medium/high heat.
  • Once hot, add your tomatoes and let them sit and fry in the oil until blistered and exploding, say 5 minutes or so. They should really be sizzling at this point and there should be enough olive oil in your frying pan to protect them from burning/sticking to the pan. The combination of olive oil, the tomato juices (and the pasta water when its added) is what really makes the sauce so don’t be shy to add more olive oil if needed.
  • Throw in your chopped chilli and/or chilli flakes. I like this to be super spicy but use however much you can tolerate.
  • Add the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Continue to simmer until the tomatoes start to emulsify with the olive oil, say 5 to 10 mins or so, adjusting the heat as need be.
  • For the pasta, boil for 2 mins less than what the packet says and whilst it's cooking, bring the tomatoes down to a lower heat and add a knob of butter.
  • When pasta is about 1 min away from ready, start to ladle some of the starchy pasta water into the frying pan of tomatoes, bringing the heat back up slightly.
  • Start with 1 to 2 ladles and see if you need more. This is when the sauce really starts to form.
  • Then tong the noodles straight from the pot to the pan and mix everything together really well with a super generous grating of parmesan.
  • Add more pasta water if it looks at all Toss the rocket throughout the pasta.
  • Plate with more parmesan, black pepper and a generous slick of Citizens of Soil olive oil.


Now, off you go to make this and be SUPER inspired for more like it. Head on over to and see what all she's got cookin' up. Also, she does a free weekly class that's a right treat.

Are you making this? Share with your fellow citizens. Tag us in your photos on Instagram at @CitizensofSoil.

You may also like...

Fragrant Corn Chowder

Time to welcome the cosy season with a steaming bowl of goodness! This recipe comes to us from the 2023 Green Michelin Star winning restaurant championing all things seasonal and sustainable—Apricity in Mayfair. With this steaming bowl of chowder, their team says "Adieu!" to summer salads and welcomes the arrival of luscious, harvest-time dishes like this one. It will pair beautifully with any punchy extra virgin olive oil like our Spanish one or Croatian ones. Here's the method: Serves 3-4 ...

Don't Drizzle. Pour!: A Q&A with Johnny Madge

In the depths of early lockdown when we really couldn't leave our homes, I was desperate to taste and learn more about olive oils. We had our oil from Crete, and some others I'd been able to find in the UK, but I needed something extra... Enter Johnny Madge, an international judge and one of the leading olive oil "tasters" in the world (more on that later)—and one of the most passionate ones I've met to date. After a guided virtual tasting with a selections of oils he sent us from his favour...

The Ultimate Andalucían Travel Guide

Discover a more "tranquilo" approach to travel with our guide to Spain's sunny south. We're talking what to eat, where to go, and why you’ll love it... “Those who don't have too much of a plan are often the ones that have the best time. When some travellers get frustrated with the late eating hours or shops closing for siesta, I tell them to be a trout, not a salmon.” — Alexis Kerner, international olive oil judge and sommelier based in Sevilla. Andalucía beckons the curious traveller. Co...