Pasta With Blistered Cherry Tomato Sauce

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12 minutes
| Servings: Serves 4 to 6

Author’s Notes

Cherry tomatoes are almost always sweeter, riper, and higher in pectin than larger tomatoes at the supermarket. All of these factors mean that cherry tomatoes are fantastic for making a rich, thick, flavorful sauce. Even better: It takes only four ingredients and about 10 minutes, start to finish—less time than it takes to cook the pasta you’re gonna serve it with. – Serious Eats


  • 1 pound (450g) dry pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced (I personally like more garlic so I use 6 to 7)
  • 6 tablespoons (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ pounds cherry tomatoes (about 2 pints; 750g)
  • 1 ounce fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (about 1 cup; 30g)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Mozzarella Balls
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Place pasta in a large skillet or sauté pan and cover with water and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil until just shy of al dente, about 1 minute less than the package instructions recommend.
  2. Meanwhile, heat garlic and 4 tablespoons (60ml) olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until garlic is softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, until tomatoes begin to burst. You can help them along by pressing on them with the back of a wooden spoon as they soften.
  3. Continue to cook until sauce is rich and creamy, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. When pasta is cooked, drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add pasta to sauce and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring and tossing constantly and adding reserved pasta water as necessary to adjust consistency to a nice, creamy flow.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil, add the mozzarella balls and grate in a generous shower of Parmesan cheese.
  6. Serve immediately, passing extra Parmesan at the table.

Pasta With Blistered Cherry Tomato Sauce