Dinner

By Allana Mortell | March 6, 2012

Photo: Fahara

With a projected weather forecast of 65 degrees for this coming Thursday in New York City, many folks, myself included, have come to the conclusion that dreary winter is long-gone and springtime is right around the corner. What better way to celebrate the return of warm weather with a meal that allows the fresh and seasonal cherry tomatoes peaking up at local markets to undoubtedly shine.

Cherry tomatoes, when sauteed in extra-virgin olive oil for no more than ten minutes, slowly begin to cook down and burst, their juices exploding in a heat-ridden pan. Add garlic, a few pinches of red pepper flake, a cup (or two) of wine, and suddenly, after a few minutes of emulsion, a pasta sauce appears. The flavors from using peak-season cherry tomatoes are so decadent, only few ingredients follow to simply avoid overpowering the main star of the tomatoes.

The success of this dish lies in its simplistic preparation and very short ingredient list. In fact, you may already have most of the ingredients necessary stocked in that pantry of yours and not even know it. As if a short shopping list isn’t enough, you will be cooking with wine! And lets just say, a swig or two while cooking should not only make the process more fun, but later persuade you to toss in those last few slices of basil or bigger handful of parmesan cheese, which in the end, will only “up” the delicious factor that much more.

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Spaghetti with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce Recipe

Servings: 4
Calories: 570 per serving
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cups dry white wine(Sauvignon Blanc is preferred, but Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay would work just fine)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced basil
  • Salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakesto taste
  • 1 lb whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat until bubbly. Add the cherry tomatoes and stir, generously coating each tomato.

2. Season the tomatoes to taste with 1/4 cup red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and oregano and continuously stir until the tomatoes begin to cook down and the skins begin to wrinkle. If need be, to speed up the cooking process, you can mash the tomatoes down with a wooden spoon and continue stirring all ingredients together.

3. When the tomato mixture has begun to thicken slightly, add the wine, 1 cup at a time, mix together and continue to let simmer for about 7-10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook until it is tender but still firm (perfectly al-dente), about 9-10 minutes. Once cooked, drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl.

5. Adjust the seasonings for the sauce as need be, adding more to your particular taste. For example, if you're a fan of spiciness, throw in some more red pepper flakes. Then, spoon the tomato mixture over the pasta, stirring well and finish with the parmesan cheese and diced basil. Enjoy.

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