A bumper crop of yellow pear and red cherry tomatoes sent me looking for recipe ideas. I didn’t have far to go. A copy of Epicurious FRESH on the coffee table yielded inspiration in the form of a recipe for Spaghetti with Sun Gold Tomato Sauce. I didn’t have that specific type of tomato, but I had plenty of others. I decided to use yellow pear and red cherry tomatoes. I made a few other adaptations to avoid a trip to the market. The original recipe uses fresh herbs and unique spices like clove and anise. Not usually a fan of anything licorice flavored, I opted to go ahead and include the star anise and fresh tarragon from the original recipe. It was not over powering at all.
I made a bouquet garni of the fresh herbs, anise pod, and clove, to make removing them much easier. Plus, I got to say “bouquet garni” to Michael when I asked him to help tie the twine tightly. 🙂 The tomatoes, shallot, and fresh herbs all came from my garden.
This dish is light and summery, definitely not like a spaghetti with marinara. It is a perfect way to use that bumper crop of cherry tomatoes! Add a little grated parmesan before serving.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 sprigs basil
- 1 sprig thyme
- ½ sprig tarragon
- 1 whole star anise pod
- 1 whole clove
- 4 cups yellow pear or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, until soft but not brown. Add garlic and cook for a couple minutes more, still not browning. Add the basil, thyme, and tarragon sprigs, star anise, and clove to a square of cheesecloth and tie with a string. Add the tomatoes and bouquet garni to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove the cheesecloth with the herbs and spices and discard it. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes release their juices and a sauce forms, 10-15 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
- Add pasta and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce in skillet. Cook, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes.