Fresh Tomato Sauce with Herbs & Olives
Suggested pasta: 1 lb.dried fusilli, gemelli, or other short, sturdy pasta.
Beyond pasta: Serve over grilled chicken breasts, salmon, or tuna steaks. Toss with hot chunks of boiled potatoes for a potato-tomato salad.
Cheese option: Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano.
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
3 Tbs. chopped mixed fresh herbs (e.g., equal parts oregano, rosemary, and thyme)
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted Gaeta or Kalamata olives
1-1/2 lb. cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
1/2 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
In a 10- or 11-inch sauté pan, heat the oil and garlic over medium-low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic infuses the oil but doesn't brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a fork, fish out and discard the garlic. Sprinkle in the herbs and olives and raise the heat to medium. Stir to combine and sauté for about a minute. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. Simmer, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to maintain a lively but not too vigorous simmer, until the tomatoes have been reduced to a thick, pulpy sauce, 15 to 20 minutes.
To serve with pasta
While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of abundantly salted water to a vigorous boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it well. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings if needed. Toss the pasta with three-quarters of the sauce and divide among individual serving bowls. Spoon a little of the remaining sauce over each serving and sprinkle on the cheese, if you like.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on five servings without pasta;
Photo: Scott Phillips