Jun 9, 2010

Spaghetti with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

Finished product: Spaghetti with heirloom cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, topped with fresh parmesan!

There are some nights when speed has to be the key word to dinner preparation. The ironic thing about these nights where I have a mile long to-do list between work and school is that I still need the comfort of a homemade meal to fuel me up for the night ahead of me. So dinner becomes about being quick, simple and delicious all at the same time. We’ve learned of tons of great recipes that I can’t wait to share but one we just did recently was spaghetti with heirloom cherry tomatoes. You can do the meal with normal cherry tomatoes but during the summer heirloom cherry tomatoes become readily available and the sweetness that these cherry tomatoes bring to the meal really adds a little something extra! Plus, it gets so hot down here in the south and sometimes the traditional spaghetti with tomato sauce just sounds too heavy. This meal is a great alternative with just as much flavor!

You only need a few things:


  • 1 pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes (can substitute with regular)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • cracked pepper
  • 6 ounces of spaghetti
  • fresh basil
  • dried parsley

You want to start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. I like to add a pinch of kosher salt to the water because it really can change the flavor of the pasta. Once the water boils, just add the spaghetti and let it cook in there for about 10-12 minutes. Couldn’t be easier!

Now while the water is boiling and your spaghetti is working on its own, you can turn attention to your heirloom cherry tomatoes. First, preheat your oven to 450 and then give the tomatoes a good rinse and throw them in a big enough bowl where you have some room to mix them around a little. Then add about 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, as much cracked pepper as you like, 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the bowl. Give everything a little mix and make sure all the tomatoes get coated and then transfer them to a baking sheet. Spread them out a little bit and then pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes. I’ll warn you, don’t be alarmed when you start hearing the pops in your oven! Just make sure to keep checking them though and when you start seeing some of them start to charr you know they’re about ready to take out.

Ok, so if your pasta and tomatoes went into their respective homes at the same time they should be done at about the same time! Drain your pasta and then add the tomatoes, along with any juice on the pan to the spaghetti. I’d give it one more toss and then it’s already time to plate! I like to hold off on adding the basil until the pasta is on the plate for this meal because the heat can sometimes wilt the basil faster than I would like. So just add as much basil as you like (I’m a fan and love the fresh basil/tomato combo) with a sprinkle of dried parsley (or fresh if you have some). All that’s left is a side of bread and sprinkle of fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Let’s do a quick recap: you dropped spaghetti in a boiling pot and then drained it, you put tomatoes on a pan and put them in an oven (you didn’t even have to cut them!) and then you mixed!!! All of this in no more than 20 minutes!! So fast, so simple and so delicious! Next time you find yourself in a time crunch for making dinner, put this together in no time and still have the whole night ahead of you to tackle that to-do list! Enjoy, and for now that’s spaghetti with heirloom cherry tomatoes…in the shell of a nut!

Leave a comment