Bonus #sundaycookingadventures: Spaghetti with toasty garlic tomato sauce

2014-06-08 11.25.55

This was a surprise dish. I didn’t think it was anything special except that it used fresh tomatoes. I don’t know what happened, but when the toasted garlic, grape tomatoes and Romano cheese hit the pan, something magic happened. It was great!

There’s a lot of chopping going on here, but once that’s done, it goes together really fast. I tripled the recipe because I was cooking for four and the original recipe only made enough for two. I ended up slicing up three pints of cherry tomatoes, which was more than just a few (six cups). I mixed yellow and red ones, and it was a beautiful dish. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as much fresh basil as I needed, but it was enough for the flavor to come through.

A good strategy for cooking is to put the water on for the spaghetti, then start slicing your garlic and tomatoes thinly. Use a serrated knife for the tomatoes so you don’t crush then. If you’re only cooking enough for two, you’ll be done slicing about the time the spaghetti is done. It took me about 20 minutes to slice 6 cups of tomatoes and 6 cloves of garlic.

I will attest to the fact that all that slicing is worth the taste at the end. I skipped the salt, because the cheese is pretty salty already, and it didn’t need anymore. Hope you like it. Here is the link to the original recipe in the June 2014 issue of Cooking Light magazine.

Spaghetti with toasty
garlic tomato sauce


12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
6 cups grape tomatoes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, optional
6 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese


1. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
2. While spaghetti cooks, cut each tomato crosswise into 7 to 9 thin slices. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes and pepper; increase heat to medium-high. Cook 2 minutes or until tomatoes slightly soften, stirring occasionally. Stir in pasta, reserved 1/4 cup cooking liquid, basil, and salt, if using. Sprinkle with cheese. Six servings.

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