Pomodori Scoppiati, (Exploded Cherry Tomato Sauce). This isn’t necessarily a recipe – it’s more of an idea. Start with a heavy skillet, some oil, and garlic Add the cherry tomatoes and watch them burst – releasing the juice which mixes with the olive oil to create a rich, silky sauce.
- 2 pound whole, fresh cherry tomatoes
- 2-3 clove garlic
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt (plus more for pasta water)
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3-4 large fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced, optional)
- 1 pound dried or fresh pasta (of your choosing)
Remove stems from the tomatoes and wash and dry them. Peel and gently crush the garlic with the back of a knife so the cloves break but remain intact.
Select an ample, heavy-bottomed skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Warm the olive oil and garlic in the skillet over medium-low heat then cook gently so the garlic infuses the oil, sizzles, but doesn’t brown. Remove the garlic.
Add the tomatoes, salt, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes (if using) and stir until well coated. Increase the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then until most of the tomatoes have “exploded” and released some of their juice. Feel free to use the back of a wooden spoon to squash them a bit if necessary. Stir in the basil, if using.
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to a boil, add some salt, then stir in the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a little cooking water. Transfer the drained pasta into the sauce, stir, adding a little cooking water if it feels dry. Serve warm.