It’s late August and the cherry tomatoes are ripening faster than I can pick and cook them. The super sweet, perfectly-round fruits are so fresh that most days I don’t even bother to turn them into a dish. Simply slice ’em in half and top with salt and fresh ground pepper – ah, total bliss.
But when I have an entire bowl of cherry tomatoes that need to be used ASAP, my favorite thing to do is simmer them into a sauce with white wine, garlic and onion. The tomatoes burst and melt – creating a sweet, summertime gravy that is divine on top of penne and grated with parmesan.
I used chicken when I made this because I had it in the fridge, but sausage, shrimp or even grilled salmon would make a fine contribution. The protein is a supporting character in this one – the sauce really shines.
Make a big serving and portion into lunches for the week – it gets even better as it sits in the fridge. Trust.Me.
Summer Cherry Tomato Pasta
- 1 lb. penne pasta
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
- Cherry tomatoes, halved (about 4 cups)
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced (I had ripe Mortgage Lifters I needed to use – you could omit)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 banana peppers, cut into rings (sweet or hot based on preference)
- 1 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc in my case)
- Olive oil
- 1 tbsp. butter
- Italian seasoning
- Salt & Pepper
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil
1. Boil water for pasta and season with kosher salt. Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions.
2. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in pan and saute seasoned chicken (salt, pepper, Italian seasoning) until just cooked. Set aside and dice once cooled.
3. Add 1 tbsp. butter to pan with leftover chicken juices, oil and dark bits. (The dark, hard to remove bits in pan = flaaaavor! ) Add onion, season with salt & pepper and let soften over medium low heat.
4. Add minced garlic and stir until you can smell the garlic. Turn heat to high.
5. Pour wine into pan – using a spoon scrape up all the dark bits in the pot. Let the wine and onion mixture come to a simmer and reduce by half, stirring often. Return heat to medium low. (Congrats you just deglazed a pan!)
6. Add fresh tomatoes and banana peppers. Season with salt, pepper and 1/2 tbsp. of Italian seasoning. Simmer over medium-low heat with lid on for 10 minutes. Reserve a handful of cherry tomatoes to ‘finish’ sauce with.
7. Add reserved chicken, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and 1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning to sauce. Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Let everything combine in pan with heat off for a few minutes. Top with fresh basil and more cheese, if you please.