The Best Cherry Tomato Sauce


This sauce is the BEST! And is one of my Dad's tried & true recipes that I grew up eating at least once a week during the summertime, as it was a staple in our house - probably because of the simplicity, but also, how incredibly delicious it is. Ripe cherry tomatoes (nature's candy), garlic, shallot, olive oil - what more could you want, really?


While this is traditionally eaten with spaghetti, I like to serve it over zoodles as a grain-free option. It is also excellent leftover and served with eggs, on toast, on salads... on anything, really. Ripe cherry tomatoes are the key ingredient - red and yellow are my favorite, but any color that looks good in the market will work just fine. Sadly, summertime and early fall is the only time that cherry tomatoes are sweet enough to make this. So, get them while they're hot!


Serves 4-6

1 lb. spaghetti or about 8 large zucchini (for spiralizing)

2-4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

8 c. cherry tomatoes, halved, or 8 c. diced, peeled and seeded plum tomatoes

Sea salt or kosher salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)

2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley, or basil (optional)

Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese, for grating (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you prepare sauce. When water boils, add 1 Tbs. of salt and the spaghetti. Let boil uncovered, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and cover pot. Let spaghetti rest in the hot water for 8-10 minutes, or until just done (al dente). Drain immediately.


If spiralizing zucchini - spiralize using your favorite device and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Bake in the oven at 375 for about 15 minutes, until they're a little bit cooked and soft. Remove from oven and drain any excess water.

Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for a minute or two and then add the garlic. Sauté until just barely golden. Add the red pepper flakes, then stir in the tomatoes. Lower heat and cook uncovered for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft and most of the juices have evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the sauce with the drained pasta or zoodles, and garnish with parsley or basil. Pass a bowl of grated cheese at the table. Enjoy!




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