Pasta with Cherry Gold Tomatoes and Onion
With an a-ha! moment from Bon Appetit; technique adapted from Franny’s: Fresh. Seasonal. Italian.
There are many ways you can put your own twist on this. Sometimes, I have a lonely ear of corn lying around and in it goes with the tomatoes. Last time I made this, I have half a zucchini left and I chopped it up and threw it in there. Think of light, crisp summer vegetables that will go well with it, and that you’ll like, and feel free to improvise.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh basil
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 pint Sun Gold tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound (or 500 grams) penne or your favorite pasta
Heat oil in a large skillet (large enough to hold your cooked pasta in the end) over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring often until soft but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, basil, and thyme and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and vinegar, and cook stirring occasionally, until tomatoes release their juices and a sauce forms, 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you made this slightly ahead of the pasta, you can turn the heat off and let the sauce sit while you finish the pasta.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, generously salted water (it should taste like the ocean), stirring occasionally, until almost al dente but still a little firm to the bite. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
Add the pasta and 1/2 cup of the pasta water to sauce in the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, tossing and adding more pasta water as needed, until the sauce thickens and coats the pasta, about 2 minutes. By now, the pasta should be done perfectly al dente.
Divide the pasta across the bowls and sprinkle with some grated cheese. Serve immediately.