Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes and Olives


Makes 6 first course servings.

Makes 4 main course servings.  

I have chosen to feature this dish because cherry tomatoes, which I roast, are fairly reliable in taste.  Roasting the cherry tomatoes intensifies their flavor, and to avoid the seeds and the skin, I puree it all in a Vitamix. The sauce becomes creamy and delicious.

I like to serve this pasta at room temperature or warm. The sauce freezes well.


  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, rinsed

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.  

  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 1 small Vidalia onion, sliced

  • ¼ teaspoon sugar

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved

  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, torn into small pieces 

  • 1 pound imported spaghetti


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. 

  2. In an ovenproof glass or ceramic dish, combine the cherry tomatoes with the oil, garlic, onion, sugar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Roast until tomato skins are slightly shriveled, about 40 minutes.   

  3. Puree all in a Vitamix until smooth. Place in a largebowl adding the olives and basil.  

  4. In a large covered pot, bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and all the pasta at once. Stir. Boil briskly, uncovered, for about 9 minutes. The pasta should be al dente since it will continue to cook in the hot sauce.

  5. Toss with the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.