Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes Are The Star In This Quick Ina Garten Pasta

Ina Garten knows her way around the kitchen. And in one accessible, easy pasta dish, Garten — aka the Barefoot Contessa — lets cherry tomatoes steal the show. Not only does pasta with tomatoes make a delicious meal for lunch or dinner, but the dish can be cooked in minutes. This savory, light fare is sure to please any crowd. 

Her recipe calls for cherry tomatoes instead of the grape variety, perhaps because the famous chef grows them in her own garden (via Food 52). In any case, they're packed with nutrients — WebMD says cherry tomatoes promote good health because they contain vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene.

If you don't have cherry tomatoes, though, don't fret. According to Southern Living, the difference between the two types of tomatoes is their shape and consistency: Cherry tomatoes are reportedly the softer, sweeter tomato. So, if you're limited to using grape tomatoes, don't let that stop you from cooking this delightful pasta dish. 

Save time by sautéeing the tomatoes

The Barefoot Contessa admits that in the past, she marinated tomatoes for six hours for her capellini with tomatoes and basil dish; but she's now transformed this recipe from requiring hours to taking only minutes. How does she save such a massive amount of cooking time? Garten sautées the cherry tomatoes instead of marinating them. In the recipe's accompanying cooking video, she gushes, "You won't believe how fast this recipe is."

For the pasta, she uses capellini, which cooks quickly. While boiling the noodles, Garten sautées chopped garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and four pints of fresh cherry tomatoes in olive oil. Next, she tosses fresh basil and parsley into the mix; then, she removes the pan from the heat.

Garten completes the dish by draining the noodles and pouring them into the tomato and herb mixture. She is careful not to break the delicate cherry tomatoes as she stirs, incorporating all ingredients. Before serving, the dish is topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.