I am super excited to share this dish with you today – a lightning fast weeknight meal that delivers luscious flavor from simple, fresh ingredients – spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, and garlic. The secret to pull this together is an easy emulsified sauce.
Normally, we learn that oil and water don’t mix, right? Unless you throw caution to the wind and rapidly boil them together for several minutes, in which case magic happens. The resulting light sauce delivers the flavor of olive oil in a way that doesn’t merely coat, but adheres to the pasta.
This recipe has been in my back pocket for about four and a half years, when I dog-eared a particularly delicious-looking page in Cooking Light. But it’s one of those meals I accidentally forget about for months at a time, probably because it is just so simple that it hardly seems like a recipe at all. But that’s a shame, because it deserves frequent appearances on the dinner table – mine and yours.
Any cherry tomatoes will work for this, but if you can find an heirloom mix, all the better. In addition to infusing the spaghetti with a rich olive oil flavor, the sauce enhances without drowning the roasted tomatoes and garlic. I love to serve this with a simple side salad and call it a day – it’s one of those meals that you leaves you feeling satiated but not the least bit heavy.
Last but not least, I know this post is already a little picture-happy, but I couldn’t resist adding a snapshot of my little sous chef, ready to add some extra grated cheese to the finished product. (He’s got good instincts!)
I hope he’s always this excited to help in the kitchen! Enjoy, friends, and have a nice weekend.
Pan-Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti
Yield 3-4 servings
- 1 tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 8 oz. uncooked spaghetti
- 5 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, multicolored if you like
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 oz. parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
- 1/4 cup small basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tbsp. salt. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water and set aside. Return drained pasta to the pot.
- In a small saucepan, combine 9 tbsp. of the reserved pasta water with 3 tbsp. olive oil, and bring to a rapid boil. Boil for 4 minutes to emulsify the sauce, then add it to the pasta and toss to coat.
- While the pasta cooks, combine 2 tbsp. olive oil, tomatoes, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet, and toss to combine. Bake for about 11 minutes, until tomatoes are lightly browned and just beginning to burst. Add tomato mixture, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper to the pasta. Toss again to coat, top with cheese and basil, and serve.
Source: Lightly adapted from Cooking Light, August 2012