Thinking back, I am certain this is the first recipe I created completely originally. My hubby really loved these roasted cherry tomatoes I used to make, and I thought to myself “why waste all this flavor on a side dish when it can be the star?” Cherry tomatoes are so sweet and make an excellent juice that caramelizes as you cook it; the absolute perfect base for a tomato sauce.
We celebrate nature’s abundance all summer long making this sauce. Considering tomato season just started, I have been hankering for some cherry tomato sauce for a long, long time! Cherry tomatoes are super cheap right now. You can get a couple pounds at CostCo for under $5.
This is a vegetarian pasta dish, but it is also excellent with a pound of browned, crumbled Italian sausage. Here are the simple steps.
Saute shallots and tomatoes for about 15 minutes over medium to high heat. The objective is to slightly brown the tomatoes and also to get them to “pop” and release their juices. Stir this once every 2-3 minutes until all the tomatoes have popped open. IMPORTANT: If you don’t have a splatter screen, buy one before trying this recipe. The tomatoes will pop all over your stove and make a huge mess.
Crush the tomatoes to make a saucy consistency. A potato masher works well for the task.
Throw in some fresh herbs, garlic, seasonings, dried herbs, and cognac (my secret weapon in all tomato sauces). Fresh and dried herbs both bring something unique to the party so I like using them in combination. Next, let the sauce simmer and reduce for 15 minutes (more if you want a thicker sauce). At the last minute, you mix in basil leaves. It makes the sauce taste light and fresh.
This is seriously simple cooking, and it beats jarred tomato sauce, hands down, every time.
Fresh Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce
Makes sauce for 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 small shallots, minced, about 3/4 cup
2 pounds cherry tomatoes
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (aka Italian Seasonings)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon cognac
1/4 cup basil leaves, sliced into strips
Heat olive oil to pan over medium high heat. Cook the shallots until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cherry tomatoes. Cook, stirring every 2-3 minutes, until skin has “popped” on all tomatoes (about 15 minutes). Crush the tomatoes into a sauce-like consistency. Add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, red pepper, sugar, and dried Italian herbs. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in the cognac. Leave your pot uncovered and allow to simmer over low heat until the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.
Remove the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Mix in the fresh basil right before serving over pasta or cheese tortellini. The sauce also makes an excellent pizza sauce.
Tip – If you don’t use cognac use ½ cup red cooking wine, reduced by half.
I shared this recipe with my friends at:
- Tuesdays at the Table
- Tempt my Tummy Tuesday
- Tuesday Night Supper Club
- Tasty Tuesdays
- Dr. Laura’s Tasty Tuesdays
- Made from Scratch Tuesday
- It’s a Keeper
- Full Plate Thursday
- Prairie Story Recipe Swap
- This Chick Cooks
- Saturday Swap