Skip to main content

Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes, Oil and Vinegar Sauce

Serves 4

Aged balsamic vinegar adds interest to this super-easy fresh tomato sauce and pasta. Serve hot or cold.

This recipe was featured in our September 2012 Yum-o! Kitchen Road Map!


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chili pepper, such as a Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, lightly crushed
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • A few torn basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Heat the EVOO over medium heat in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add the garlic and chili pepper and stir for 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is very light golden in color. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; cover the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the tomatoes burst, shaking the pan occasionally. Uncover and add the vinegar; reduce the heat to low and reduce a minute or two more.
  2. Once the tomatoes are in the saucepan and have been cooking for 5 minutes or so, salt the boiling water, drop in the pasta and cook to al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining.
  3. Break the tomatoes up a bit with a potato masher; add 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water and parsley to the pan, then toss with the drained spaghetti for 1-2 minutes, using a little more of the starchy cooking water to combine the sauce with pasta if necessary. Serve in shallow bowls topped with Pecorino cheese and basil. Leftovers are delicious as a cold salad as well. Toss with arugula and a little extra oil and vinegar.