Cozy, rustic, and rich Cherry Tomato Sauce made with just 6 ingredients. Ready in less than 20 minutes and perfect with pasta for an easy dinner.
For the carb lovers amongst us who are looking for something new and saucy to smother their pasta in, enter my Cherry Tomato Sauce.
It's here for all of your pasta tossing and thwapping on top of everything needs. It clings to pasta in all the right ways and is very meal prep and freezer friendly.
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Here's what you will be needing to make this delicious cherry tomato sauce:
And a few ingredient notes:
- Cherry tomatoes - Or grape tomatoes. This is the perfect recipe for using up your summer harvest! Cherry tomatoes are generally sweeter and higher in pectin than larger tomatoes which means they will create a richer, fuller flavoured sauce.
- Tomato paste - The combo of fresh tomatoes and tomato paste is what gives such great, concentrated flavour, and creamy consistency. Don't be tempted to use regular canned tomatoes instead. Use tomato puree in the UK.
- Milk of choice - Adding milk to tomato sauce offsets the acidity of the tomatoes and makes the sauce creamier. Because of this, there is no need for a pinch of sugar like a lot of tomato-based sauces. Any plant milk such as almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, or cashew milk will do. Just be sure it is unflavoured and unsweetened.
- Herbs - Pretty much any Italian-style herbs work in this recipe and you can use fresh herbs or dried herbs. If using fresh basil leaves though add them immediately before serving.
Feel free to add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes if you like a little heat in your pasta sauce!
Looking for a sauce that uses canned tomatoes? Check out my Vegan Marinara Sauce.
How To Make Cherry Tomato Sauce
Here's the low down on how to make it:
- Sauté the onions, garlic, seasonings, and tomatoes in a large skillet. There is no need to peel/remove the skins from the tomatoes.
- Add tomato paste, stir it all up and let it cook in the hot pan for a few minutes.
- Add some creamy plant milk.
- Simmer for a few minutes until creamy and thick.
All done, start to finish in under 20 minutes. I like to leave the sauce chunky, but you can blend it or use an immersion blender right in the pan if you prefer a smoother sauce.
Expert Tip - When you add the tomato paste let it cook in the hot pan for a good few minutes, until it turns a deep browny, brick red. This will caramelize the natural sugars in the paste, intensifying the flavour and eliminating the "canned" flavour.
How To Use Cherry Tomato Sauce
I see many situations where this delish and versatile tomato sauce fits:
- Got a big family? - Toss through pasta to feed them all quickly and easily.
- Meal Prep - Make a massive batch and dip into it all week long. It keeps well in the fridge for 5 or 6 days and freezes perfectly.
- Date Night - You, your significant other, this, some crispy baked zucchini slices, a fresh, crisp salad, and a good bottle of vino.
- Feeding the fussy kiddos? - Most of them like spaghetti and pasta sauce!
- A treat yourself night - You, piles of pasta, lots of vegan parmesan cheese or ricotta, and a soppy movie?
- It's also really good with zucchini noodles, vegan meatballs, pasta bakes, lasagna, spread on panini or sandwiches, with on vegan chicken fillets then topped with some melty vegan cheese, or on pizza in place of pizza sauce.
- My biggest tip though is to really carb up and serve some of my No Knead Focaccia Bread on the side of your Cherry Tomato Sauce-laden pasta dish. Just perfect for sopping up that sauce!
Expert tip - Pasta water! When serving the sauce with pasta, before draining the boiling pasta scoop out half a mug full of the starchy pasta water. Then when tossing the pasta in the sauce, add a splash of the pasta cooking water. The sauce will become extra glossy and cling to your pasta better thanks to the starch in the water!
More Pasta Recipes
No. Because this sauce contains plant milk it cannot be canned.
You can if you want to, but cherry tomatoes create a thicker, more flavour-packed sauce because they are sweeter and contain more pectin.
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it by leaving a comment and rating below! And be sure to join my mailing list for more deliciousness!
Cherry Tomato SauceAuthor:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (sauté with a few tablespoons of water for oil-free)
- 1 medium onion , diced finely
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons dried or fresh herbs , rosemary, herbs de Provence, thyme, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning all work really well (or a combination).
- 1½ teaspoons fine salt , plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 heaping cups (350 grams) cherry or grape tomatoes , halved
- ⅓ cup (5½ tablespoons) tomato paste (tomato puree in the UK)
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk of choice , (it must be unsweetened & unflavoured)
- Warm a tablespoon of olive oil (or water for oil-free) in a large sauté pan over a medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook, moving frequently until just starting to colour, then add the garlic. Cook for a minute longer.
- Add the tomatoes and keep moving everything around for about 4 minutes, until they burst a bit and are just starting to caramelize.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the salt and pepper and herbs, then the tomato paste. Stir together well and let the tomato paste cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently until it turns a darker brick red.
- Pour in the milk and stir well until a creamy sauce is formed. Keep it simmering over the heat for about 7 minutes, until the sauce reduces and thickens up enough to coat the pasta well. If you leave it any longer and it thickens up too much, simply add a little drop of milk (or starchy pasta water) to thin it.