Poached Cherry Tomato Sauce

05.25.2013

The most delicious and flavorful cherry tomato sauce made with garlic, shallots, poached cherry tomatoes and basil. It’s the perfect sauce to toss with spaghetti or any other long pasta shape. Simmered slowly for the most delicious flavor and it couldn’t be easier!

A plate of poached cherry tomato sauce topped with basil sitting on a wooden table

Poached Cherry Tomato Sauce

I have such a weakness for good Italian food. Lots of fresh tomatoes, check. Loads of garlic, check. A cupful of olive oil, check. And plenty of fresh basil, of course, check. I knew it had to be good. And yes, it’s far better than good, it’s unbelievably delicious.

All the delicious fresh ingredients are simmered slowly for around an hour and believe me it is so worth the wait. The end result is unbelievably good and so versatile.

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So What’s In This Poached Cherry Tomato Sauce?

The ingredients are so fresh and simple you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen….

  • olive oil
  • shallots
  • garlic
  • cherry tomatoes
  • canned plum tomatoes
  • basil
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes

A close up of cherry tomatoes with drops of water on them

Freshly washed cherry tomatoes with basil and garlic in the background

The Garlic

You may be nervous about that much garlic but after simmering for over an hour it’s flavor mellows way down and the harsh bite of the garlic is diminished. Its like roasting garlic, it’s potency turns to nearly sweet once it’s roasted.

Just keep a tic tac close by (do they still sell those?). Another thing, I was washing my face after I made this, and even though I had washed my hands many times since I’d been chopping that much garlic it still got me good just as my hands were rubbing around my whole face and right across my nose.

Top Tip For Getting Rid Of Garlic Smell From Your Hands

Wow. I probably smell like a walking clove of garlic (which I don’t really mind but I’m sure my husband would say otherwise :). If you want to get rid of the smell, yes you can buy those stainless steel bars that mimic the shape of a bar of soap or you can just rub your hands around your stainless steel sink for the same effect to remove the odor.

I just always forget I guess, until I’m enjoying the scent of my minty face soap and suddenly it’s strangely mingling with the scent of garlic. With the garlic smell on your hands, in your kitchen and throughout your home it’s worth it if it means this silky, lightly sweet, rich and authentic style, olive-oil-poached cherry tomato sauce awaits.

How To Make The Cherry Tomato Sauce

Combine olive oil and shallots in a pot over low heat and cook 10 – 12 minutes until shallots become translucent and soft. Stir in garlic while coating entirely with oil, cook for 15 minutes until garlic has softened.

Add in cherry tomatoes, crushed plum tomatoes and sugar, cook 20 minutes. Stir in fresh basil stems, partially cover pot and allow mixture to cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until cherry tomatoes have burst and deflated and the mixture has turned to a rich sauce.

olive oil poached cherry tomato sauce | Cooking Classy

Discard basil or remove some of the leaves from stems and reserve in sauce (I ripped some of the leaves off and kept them in the sauce, it couldn’t just toss it all :).

Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste and stir in red pepper flakes to taste if desired. Toss sauce with pasta of choice and serve topped with chopped fresh basil for garnish if desired.

Easy as that!A poached cherry tomato sauce simmering in a pan

Variations – Other Things To Add

  • If you have a carnivorous husband like mine, feel free to add some sort of protein to a portion of the sauce. I added Italian sausage for my husband otherwise I wasn’t sure if he’d eat it. You could add ground beef, pork, turkey or Italian sausage. I say it most definitely doesn’t need it but if you prefer sauce with meat then of course you could add some.
  • You could also add extra veggies and greens such as kale or spinach.
  • Red pepper flakes or fresh chili would add a nice spicy kick.

This pasta could really use some saucy love don’t you think?

A plate of spaghetti without sauce

Yes, much better.

A close up of spaghetti with a cherry tomato sauce

More Italian Recipes You Might Like;

Did you try this Poached Cherry Tomato Sauce? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and comment below to let me know how it went. You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to see what I’m getting up to in the kitchen.

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Olive Oil Poached Cherry Tomato Sauce

The most delicious and flavorful cherry tomato sauce made with garlic, shallots, poached cherry tomatoes and basil. It's the perfect sauce to toss with spaghetti or any other long pasta shape. Simmered slowly for the most delicious flavor and it couldn't be easier!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Cherry Tomato Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 175 kcal
Author: Jaclyn Bell

Ingredients

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz shallots , shaved or thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 2 heads of garlic , shaved or thinly sliced (3/4 cup)*
  • 24 oz cherry tomatoes**
  • 2 cups canned , drained plum tomatoes, crushed (I just crushed them with my hands)
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 8 stems fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes , to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine olive oil and shallots in a pot over low heat and cook 10 - 12 minutes until shallots become translucent and soft. Stir in garlic while coating entirely with oil, cook for 15 minutes until garlic has softened. 
  2. Add in cherry tomatoes, crushed plum tomatoes and sugar, cook 20 minutes. Stir in fresh basil stems, partially cover pot and allow mixture to cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until cherry tomatoes have burst and deflated and the mixture has turned to a rich sauce.
  3. Discard basil or remove some of the leaves from stems and reserve in sauce (I ripped some of the leaves off and kept them in the sauce, it couldn't just toss it all :).
  4.  Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste and stir in red pepper flakes to taste if desired. Toss sauce with pasta of choice and serve topped with chopped fresh basil for garnish if desired.

Recipe Notes

*I used 3/4 cup but the original recipe stated you could use 1 cup garlic or reduce to 1/2 cup. This for me was about 2 heads of garlic to get 3/4 cup.

**Original recipe listed 17 oz (4 cups) cherry tomatoes but I decided to add more, so if you only have 17 oz that's enough. Another side note, sugar not listed in the original recipe.

Variations - Other Things To Add

  • If you have a carnivorous husband like mine, feel free to add some sort of protein to a portion of the sauce. I added Italian sausage for my husband otherwise I wasn't sure if he'd eat it. You could add ground beef, pork, turkey or Italian sausage. I say it most definitely doesn't need it but if you prefer sauce with meat then of course you could add some.
  • You could also add extra veggies and greens such as kale or spinach.
  • Red pepper flakes or fresh chili would add a nice spicy kick.

 

Recipe Source: adapted from Graffiato via Washington Post

Nutrition Facts
Olive Oil Poached Cherry Tomato Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 175 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Sodium 146mg 6%
Potassium 608mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 6g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 17.5%
Vitamin C 56.6%
Calcium 5.5%
Iron 10.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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40 comments

  • Lindsay: Whew! It might be the dead of winter, but I’ve got to open a window while this cooks. :-) January 22, 2015 at 3:58pm Reply

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