I am in love with the sweet, colorful baby heirloom tomatoes that have been popping up at my farmer's market. They are nearly perfect on their own or tossed into a simple green salad but I also like warming them up with some garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil and tossing with hot spaghetti. By cooking them at a low heat, the tomatoes retain most of their shape, color, and sweetness so that the dish tastes really fresh and light. This is barely a recipe since it's so quick and easy, but it proves that you don't need to do much cooking when you start with really great ingredients.
Spaghetti with Chunky Cherry Tomato Sauce:
- Heat 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add in 3 smashed, whole garlic cloves and cook in the oil until they start to sizzle.
- Add in 1 pint of whole grape or cherry tomatoes and a generous pinch of salt.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, removing and discarding the garlic with a slotted spoon once it gets golden brown.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt, and cook 1/2 lb. whole wheat spaghetti until al dente.
- Once the tomatoes are soft, use the back of a wooden spoon to light smash them and release some of their juice.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 c. pasta cooking liquid.
- Add the pasta to the pan with the sauce and pour in most of the cooking liquid, 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, and 1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil leaves.
- Toss to combine, adding more pasta water as necessary to moisten the sauce.
- Check for seasoning, then divide onto plates and serve with more Parmesan or basil, if desired.