Fresh cherry tomato and basil pasta

This is one of the most basic, easy and delicious summer meals I make using backyard cherry tomatoes. Pick the ripest ones --- maybe a couple pints --- and the sauce is almost done. (A little mystery --- can anyone explain why cherry tomatoes right next to each other on the same stem can ripen at such different rates given the same microclimate?)

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved (arrange them on a round plastic storage container lid, invert a second lid and hold gently but firmly over the tomatoes then slice between the lids with a serrated knife — voila — they will all be halved quickly using this trick I learned from my son)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small red or yellow onion or a whole shallot, diced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Maybe a dozen big basil leaves, julienned (stack them, roll them up the long way, then slice thinly)
  • Small handful of other fresh herbs, minced (optional)
  • 8 oz whole wheat pasta — I like linguine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta. In the 9 – 10 minutes it takes to cook dried pasta, saute onion or shallot in the olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and crushed chilies. Saute about a minute until the garlic is fragrant. Raise the heat and add the tomatoes. Heat through until the tomatoes break down a little and begin to bubble. Stir in the basil and optional herbs near the end of the cooking time. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce in the skillet. Serve and marvel at what you just created.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 294
  • Fat: 8 gm
  • Saturated Fat: 1 gm
  • Trans Fat: 0 gm
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 51gm
  • Fiber: 7 gm
  • Sugars: 2 gm
  • Sodium: 13 mg (without added salt)
  • Protein: 10 gm

Contributor

Preston Maring, MD