Easy Pasta with “Melted” Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic

My daughter’s produce stand has cherry tomatoes of every ilk.

I love cooking with cherry tomatoes—they’re sweeter than Beefsteaks and Cherokee Purples and they’re not as watery, so cooking them presents a hosts of possibilities that large tomatoes don’t. They don’t fall apart, which is good, but they also don’t offer as much juice for a sauce either. So, while this recipe relies on cherry tomatoes, it contains a couple handfuls of crushed tomatoes as well, which I always have on hand as my daughter works at a produce stand. So I’m flush with over-the-hill, juicy tomatoes just waiting to be crushed at a moment’s notice. This pasta recipes comes together in a flash and also features tomato’s summer cousins, garlic and basil. Enjoy.

A quick saute in hot olive oil “melts” the cherry tomatoes.

Cook the pasta in the skillet to let it absorb the sauce, giving every strand great tomato flavor.

Pasta with “Melted” Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil
8 ounces thin spaghetti (or other long pasta–pasta water reserved)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup slivered onion (optional)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large handfuls crushed tomatoes or 1 large tomato, crushed
Coarse salt
1 tablespoon butter
Handful of slivered basil (or chiffonade)
Grated Parmigiano Regianno cheese

1. Cook pasta, reserving some pasta water. In a large skillet, heat olive oil; add cherry tomatoes, onion and garlic. Saute about 10 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes. Add pasta, butter and basil to skillet. Cook 5 minutes, adding pasta water to thin if necessary. Serve with grated cheese.

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