Mary Beth Clark

Culinary Educator · Consultant · Author

Spaghetti with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Spaghetti con Pomodorini Scoppiati

Typical of Southern Italy, spaghetti is tossed with Burst Cherry Tomatoes cooked in fragrant olive oil, creating a luscious sauce. Quick to make, light and addictively good, you can't stop eating it! This classic preparation is one of the most popular home-cooked pasta dishes in the regions of Campania, Lazio, and Puglia. Anyone with a small plot of land has a garden, even if it is just a meter or two in diameter. Who doesn’t grow tomatoes? Especially in the south where the earth is rich and warm, it's ideal for making tomato sauce as intense as the sun.

4 first-course servings or 2 main course servings. Cooking time is about 15 minutes.

1 pound (454 g) spaghetti

Burst Cherry Tomatoes (Click for the recipe:
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh celery leaves
Fresh parsley leaves
Grated aged Pecorino, Caciocavallo, or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Boiling the Spaghetti: In a deep pot, bring lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking together. While the pasta is boiling, scoop out 1/2 cup (120 ml) pasta cooking water and reserve. Boil the pasta until it is firm al dente because it continues cooking with the sauce.

2. Combining with Burst Cherry Tomatoes: One minute before the spaghetti is finished boiling, warm the Burst Cherry Tomatoes over medium heat in a non-stick pan. Drain the spaghetti, leaving a little water clinging to it, and immediately add it to the tomato sauce. Add fresh herbs. Toss thoroughly coating the pasta. Add some reserved pasta cooking water as needed to keep the pasta moist and to create a light, glossy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat. Plate and serve grated cheese at tableside.

Variation: As cool weather reduces the amount of ripe cherry tomatoes in the market, add some protein to this recipe. Saute chopped prosciutto crudo, crumbled fresh sausage, chicken, shrimp, or tempeh in a non-stick pan, then add the Burst Cherry Tomatoes. Simmer together for a few minutes, add fresh herbs, then toss with spaghetti.

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