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Fresh Tomato Sauce with Herbs & Olives

Scott Phillips

Servings: four to five.

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

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on five servings without pasta
  • Calories (kcal) : 193
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 153
  • Fat (g): 17
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 628
  • Carbohydrates (g): 9
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 2


  • 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.


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