Thursday, September 14, 2006

Recipe for Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce for Pasta

This sauce is one of my favorite ways to use an abundance of cherry tomatoes!

Every year when it's time to plant the garden, I have a bit of an argument with myself regarding how many cherry tomato plants to buy. I like cherry tomatoes well enough, but there are so many interesting varieties of regular tomatoes. Some years I think about eliminating cherry tomatoes altogether, but then I think about not being able to make this sauce.

This year I only planted one cherry tomato plant, so when I made this I didn't have quite enough cherry tomatoes and I had to use a few small red tomatoes cut into eights. You could certainly make it with all diced red tomatoes, but if you have cherry tomatoes they're a great incentive to make the sauce. Since I pledged to myself to use things from my garden for Weekend Herb Blogging as long as I could, and my herbs are still flourishing, just begging to be used up, I decided that all those great cherry tomatoes and the fresh basil, parsley, and oregano in this recipe make it perfect for Weekend Herb Blogging, which is at The Kitchen Pantry this week.

This isn't my most informative post for Weekend Herb Blogging, since I've already written about basil, parsley, and oregano, but I've had this recipe in my archives for more than a year without a photo, and I really wanted to update it. I can't remember where I got the recipe, but I do know the original recipe didn't have sausage, so you could certainly leave it out. In this recipe, the tomatoes are cooked just long enough to start to soften and become really flavorful. It's spicy with hot pepper flakes and savory with parsley, oregano, and basil. It's the perfect sauce for hot spagetti, and a very quick dinner for those late summer nights when you want something good but don't feel like doing a lot of cooking.

I use turkey Italian Sausage to make this more South Beach Diet friendly. For South Beach Dieters I'd also eat this over Dreamfield's Pasta, a type of low carb pasta that I've been using for several years. To me it tastes exactly like regular pasta, and with only 5 net carbs per servings it's a low glycemic food. It also has twice the fiber of regular pasta. My favorite type of noodle for this sauce is Dreamfield's linguini, which is shown here.

Here are some of the steps for making this wonderful variation on pasta sauce. (Complete recipe below.)

Brown sausage first and remove from pan. Start pasta cooking, then saute cherry tomatoes, red pepper flakes, garlic, and oregano in generous amount of olive oil.

While tomatoes are sauteeing, chop fresh parsley and basil. You could use a food processor or mini-chopper, but I think chopping fresh herbs with a chef's knife is quite therapeutic.

After a few minutes, add cooked sausage, chopped basil, and chopped parsley to pan and saute 3-4 minutes more.

Serve over hot spagetti, linguini, or any tubular shaped pasta with plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce for Pasta
Makes enough sauce for 4 servings of pasta)

2-3 hot Turkey Italian Sausage links
(in Utah, I buy Jenno-O brand sausage)
3-4 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1-2 T. minced fresh garlic (you can use minced garlic from a jar with good results)
1 tsp. or less dried red pepper flakes
(the kind you sprinkle on pizza)
1 - 2 tsp. dried oregano (or 2-3 tsp. fresh)
3 T. chopped fresh parsley (or more)
3 T. chopped fresh basil (or more)
4 - 5 T. extra virgin olive oil
Fresh grated Parmesan for serving

Squeeze sausage out of casing and cook in small amount of olive oil until slightly browned. (Mash with potato masher to get it in small pieces.) Remove sausage from pan.

Add olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, oregano, and cherry tomatoes. Cook 3-4 minutes, until tomatoes are starting to soften. Add sausage, basil and parsley and cook 3-4 minutes more. Serve over hot linguini or spaghetti with lots of fresh Parmesan.

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More to Chew On:


  1. I sometimes find that the cherry tomatoes have far more flavor that the biggies we can get 'round where I live

  2. Thanks for letting us know in advance about next week's WHB. I'll have to decide which herb is my favorite ( I think it starts with a C). :):) I have the same debate with myself and cherry tomaotes--but I plant them and am glad I did. Wonderful recipe, Kalyn!!!

  3. I have a small yard and room for 2 plants at most. I've grown grape tomatoes 2 years now. But next year I'm planting big beefy tomatoes...I miss them.

  4. Wheresmymind, I definitely agree that for tomatoes from the store, cherry tomatoes are often better!

    Sher, can't wait to see what you choose and I think I know what your favorite it. There's actually one more regular week before the "My favorite Herb" week.

    Jo, I agree, it's hard to decide which is best!

  5. my that looks and sounds quite tasty......and yep those cherry tomatoes add a layer of flavor that I think we tend to forget about.
    Kalyn your photo's are looking quite good these days. It seems you are really getting the hang of your new camera. Wonderful!

  6. Your photos are looking absolutely luscious! I'm down to a few dozen cherry tomatoes left in the garden, and an early frost nearly decimated the basil, but I've got parsley, oregano, and plenty of mint, so will try your recipe with that combination.

  7. Doodles and Lydia, thanks. I love the new camera. This was fun to photograph because of the bright red tomatoes.

  8. One year of herb bloging. Congrats! look forward to this big event.

  9. I am a big fan of cherry and grape tomatoes, and in fact, toss them in everything I can think of. This pasta dish looks unbelievably flat out fabulous, my Dear!

  10. Ed, thanks. I hope you'll tell us about your very favorite herb. (I think I know what it is. Something starting with a B?)

    Karina, thanks. It's one of my all-time favorite recipes.

  11. I just made this for dinner and it is AMAZING. Thank you :)

  12. Becca, thanks! I'm so glad you liked it.

  13. Is there a rule of thumb regarding when you can or cannot freeze cherry tomato sauce? Thanks for the great recipes and info.

  14. I don't think there's any reason this sauce couldn't be frozen except you will lose the freshness of the just-cooked tomatoes so the flavor will be a bit different. If you have a surplus of cherry tomatoes, I'd definitely make a big batch and freeze it.

  15. Super easy to make and my family loves it every time I make it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. So glad you've been enjoying it.


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