Mixed organic cherry tomatoes are the focal point of this delicious pasta, showcasing an assortment of flavorful bite-sized wonders in an herbaceous, colorful pasta sauce. The mix provides a welcome balance of flavors. Red tomatoes have more sugar than acid. Orange and yellow tomatoes are less acidic and milder. Black and purples have umami and earthiness.
Warning: Don’t substitute grape tomatoes in this recipe because the ratio of thick walls to juice prevents them providing enough juice. The cherry tomatoes cook down with oil and garlic.
The mix of tomatoes, oil, garlic, dried red chili flakes cook until those tomatoes are lightly browned around the edges and slightly shriveled. Then – cooked pasta and a little reserved cooking water come to the party, along with butter, basil and green onion slices.
On the plates, a finish of grated Pecorino cheese – then some flakey sea salt, and a little minced Italian parsley. Pasta Pomodoro! Buon Appetito.
Weeknight Pasta Pomodoro
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1 pound dry penne or fusilli or farfalle or gemelli pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use, plus more for drizzling
3 large garlic cloves, minced
Pinch dry red chili flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 cups ripe cherry tomatoes, halved if large, left whole if on the small side
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups whole fresh basil leaves
4 green onions, thinly sliced, including half of dark green stalks
Flaky sea salt such as Maldon, to taste
Garnish: grated Pecorino cheese
Minced Italian parsley
1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil on high heat. Add pasta and cook until just barely al dente, about a minute less than indicated on package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat large, deep skillet on medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, red chili flakes, salt and pepper; cook about 1 1/2 minutes, or until garlic is softened but not browned. Add tomatoes; cook about 5 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned around edges and slightly shriveled.
3. Add pasta and toss. Add enough of reserved pasta cooking water to make mixture a little sauce-y. Cook about 1 minute. Add butter, basil and green onion slices; toss to coat. Divide between shallow bowls or rimmed plates. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with flaky salt, Pecorino cheese and parsley. Pass pepper mill at the table.