Pasta With Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce

I love pasta. It is, in my opinion, the most comforting meal I make for myself when I don’t have time or energy to make anything else. It’s there for me always in times of exhaustion or laziness. The simplest combination: pasta, butter, pasta water, and S+P (add more P for that cacio and pepe vibe), and a few squeezes of lemon juice and zest, is the shortcut for quick comfort.

There’s also times when I want more than that, and I only have cherry tomatoes in my fridge, along with a bunch of spices. This recipe is like a hug in a bowl (or plate if you prefer). The pasta water is key to make it all come together (glossy and saucy!), so make sure when you’re done cooking the pasta to reserve about a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the water. Though you could use plain old water if you forget. The pasta water has all the starches that allows the sauce to better come together smoothly (it’s the ~emulsifier~).

Whenever I make pasta, it always seemingly makes too much for one person at first, but then I go back for seconds and it ends up being the perfect amount to hold me over for a few hours. You can adjust the pasta servings accordingly if you’re making this for yourself or more people. I hope you enjoy! Tag me in your creations on Instagram or Twitter. 🙂

Chef note: Though the title says cherry tomatoes, I’ve added red peppers as well. So if you feel like you want to add more veggies, be my guest! I would recommend adding them at the same time as the cherry tomatoes into the pan. If it’s less liquid-y than tomatoes, it may require more cook time so I would advise adding them in before the tomatoes.

A magnificent sight to behold!


  • Pasta of choice (any short pasta or spaghetti)
  • Small plastic container of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 shallot, cut into thin circles
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Sumac
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, to finish
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (always recommend adding more though!)
  • 1/4 cup pasta water (could be more or less depending on the consistency of your sauce)


  1. Boil your salted water; when it comes to a boil, drop your pasta of choice
  2. About 5-6 minutes later, your pasta should be al dente (mostly cooked through; remember: it’s also going to be cooked with the rest of your ingredients and the pasta water)
  3. Take out a medium saucepan and prep your garlic, shallot, and tomatoes
  4. Pour a neutral oil into the pan and wait for it to get a little hot
  5. Add in your garlic and shallots to the pan. You’re looking for caramelization on the shallots and garlic to turn a little brown
  6. Add in your tomatoes (and other veggies if you’d like)
  7. Immediately, add in your spices and stir around to fully incorporate
  8. Cover the pan and the let the tomatoes get blistered so its juices pour over (~5 minutes)
  9. Shake the pan to make sure nothing burns while the pan is covered. After 5 minutes, squish the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. This is the start of creating the sauce!
  10. Your pasta has been hanging out in the colander. Introduce the pasta to the pan and mix it all so each pasta strand gets a bit of that sauce
  11. Add your parmesan and olive oil to finish

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