Pasta with Sungold Tomato Sauce

Who says that tomato sauce needs to be red? I love those cute little orange sungold tomatoes that are everywhere at this point in the summer. This is the simplest sauce – tomatoes, fresh thyme and basil, a homemade strained tomato sauce and a little onion, garlic & parmesan. There’s so little that goes into it, so make sure you use the freshest ingredients you can find. And, if you have leftovers of the sungolds, use them for this salad, which is basically summer in a bowl.

– 2 pints sungold tomatoes 
– 2 tbsp. EVOO 
– 1 tbsp. butter 
– 4 garlic cloves, minced 
– 1 small onion, diced 
– 1 tsp. fresh thyme 
– Approx. 7 basil leaves, chiffonaded 
– 1/3 freshly grated parm 
– 1 lb. angel hair or thin spaghetti pasta  
 – 1.5 C. pasta water 

1. Boil water, salt it pretty heavily (this will be the only salt you use in this entire dish, so just keep that in mind). 

2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and EVOO over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, approx. 6-7 minutes. 

3. Add minced garlic, cook until fragrant, approx. 90 seconds. Add the fresh thyme and give everything a good stir.

4. Meanwhile, cook that pasta! 

5. Take one pint of tomatoes, cut them in half, and throw them into a very fine strainer set over a bowl. With a spoon, crush the tomatoes against the strainer so the juice runs into the bowl below. Toss the skins. 

6. Take the other pint of tomatoes, add to the saucepan, and turn the heat down to medium low. 

7. Add the juice to the saucepan with the tomatoes. Stir until it starts to thicken a bit. If you want (I did), crush some of the whole tomatoes that are blistering with the back of the wooden spoon that you’re using to stir everything. 

8. At this point, the pasta should be about 2 minutes away from al dente – this is perfect. Grab about 2 cups of pasta water out of the boiling pot and set aside, then drain the pasta.

9. Add about half the reserved pasta water, stir to combine. Add about half the grated cheese and mix. 

10. Add the pasta to the saucepan and use tongs to get it covered in the sungold tomato sauce. Let this all cook together about 2 minutes more. If sauce looks kind of thin, add the rest of the pasta water. Add the chiffonaded basil and stir.

11. Remove saucepan from heat, and scoop this incredibly simple, delicious sauce into bowls. Observe how your dinner companion is eyeing the bowls “to make sure we both have equal”, give him an extra little scoop. Top with a little more grated parm and dig in. This was seriously delicious.