It was about time that I learned how to make pasta sauce from scratch. So when I ran across this recipe I
jumped at the chance to try it out. Simple pasta sauces had always eluded me; somehow I had never gotten
the right balance of ingredients. My sauces were either too acid-y, too runny or else tasted like a commercial
jar of sauce with a few ingredients tossed in.
No more bad sauces! This recipe is easy to follow and comes out just right every time. The trick is to use
the sweetest cherry tomatoes you can find and to cook them down so that they deflate and release their
tomato juices into the pot. Sungold tomatoes which are small, yellow and very sweet, are very popular but any
sweet cherry tomato will do. You can cook them all down with the confidence that their tomato juices will not
evaporate off too much and dry out the sauce. Just take care not to cook them so much that they disintegrate
This makes enough sauce for about ½ pound of pasta.
And it may be doubled or more:
3 Tablespoons olive oil (reduce a bit if cooking 3x or more)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced thinly
7 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and sliced thinly or else diced
2 pounds fresh Sungold or other cherry tomatoes, about 3 ½ pints or so, stemmed and rinsed
1 ½ teaspoons non-iodized salt (Kosher or sea salt) or to taste
Fresh basil leaves, added at the last minute of cooking or as a garnish at serving time.
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled at serving time.
Heat a wide and heavy bottomed pot with the oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and
onion and cook for a few minutes until things soften and turns translucent, but not so much so that the mixture
starts to brown.
Then add the tomatoes and cook them down, stirring and watching so that they do not stick or burn on the
bottom of the pot. You want the tomatoes to deflate and release their juice but not disintegrate into pulp. Cook
them uncovered until this happens – which will take 10-30 minutes depending on the type and size of cherry
tomatoes you are using.
I made the mistake one time, of combining in the pot some smaller red cherry tomatoes with some larger
yellow ones. The yellow ones took at least 10-12 minutes longer to cook which left me with perfectly cooked
yellow tomatoes and mushed up red ones. See the photo for some nicely deflated yet whole tomatoes in a
Time your your pasta to be done cooking at the about same time the sauce is done and serve both hot and
Adapted from a recipe from Rose’s Luxury restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Sungold Tomato Sauce