Michelle Writes a Food Blog: Cherry Tomato Pasta Edition

If you love garlicky, oily tomato pasta, then this recipe is for you!

Prep time: 10 mins depending on chopping skills
Cook time: 30 minutes

Basically, all of my recipes start out with the same core ingredients: good olive oil, lots and lots of garlic, red onions, parsley and some red chili flakes. So that’s exactly how this recipe begins.

· Chop up (or press — but chopping is better) 5 large cloves of garlic (tbh, I’d probably use a whole bulb — don’t be afraid of the garlic, it’s going to caramelize and be absolutely delicious).

· Finely chop up half of a large red onion.

· Finely chop one bunch of parsley (or less — depends on how much you like parsley).

· Slice about 20 cherry tomatoes in half (I’d suggest using half red, half yellow cherry tomatoes if they are in season).

· You’ll need about a pound of pasta (depends on your preferred sauce to pasta ratio). Spaghetti or linguini is suggested, but you use whatever pasta your little heart desires. Fresh pasta will bring this recipe to the next level.

In a large sauté pan add ½ cup of olive oil (I use a deep pan because I like to add the pasta into the saucepan afterwards). Make sure your olive oil is flavourful, it’s really worth spending a few extra bucks, especially when you have oil based dishes. I use Terra Delyssa — Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Add the chopped onion, all the garlic, half of the chopped parsley, and about half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes (more if you like it super caliente, or less if you’re not that into spice) and top with salt and pepper. I usually let that sit for a about 15 mins to infuse those flavours into the olive oil (I don’t know if that’s an actual thing — but I do it anyway).

While that awesome mixture is infusing in the olive oil, fill a large pot with water, add some salt and put that on the stove for later.

Now it’s time to start the sauce. Turn the saucepan on to about medium high heat to start — I usually start it at about 7 (but my stove is old and yours may be hotter, so use your judgement). You’re going to want to stir this pretty regularly. Once the garlic and onion start to become translucent and all caramelized (about 8 ish minutes), you’re going to turn the element down to medium heat (I’d say about 5), and add in those cherry tomatoes you sliced up. Keep stirring this mixture for 10 minutes until the tomatoes start to disintegrate a bit and burst (you want the tomato juices to take over the pan). Once this happens you should start boiling your pot of water.

Now is a good time to turn down the pasta saucepan to about 3 (again, your stove may be hotter than mine, so you really just want to keep this on a low, simmering heat to avoid burning this precious sauce). Keep stirring this while your pasta water is coming to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, add your pasta. If you’re using fresh pasta this shouldn’t take more than 3 minutes to cook since you want the pasta to be al dente. Stir the pasta so it doesn’t get stuck at the bottom of the pot and make sure the pieces separate properly.

Once the pasta is done and drained, gradually add it to your saucepan in small batches. I do this instead of adding it all at once to ensure the perfect sauce to pasta ratio that I like. At this point, you can turn off the element for the saucepan, while tossing everything together until you’re happy with the proportion. Then help yourself to a large delicious serving.

Top that off with a bit (a lot) of parmesan cheese and some fresh parsley and then boom, you’re done! (and you most definitely will have leftovers for your lunch tomorrow, so — bonus!)

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