Speedy Cherry Tomato Sauce
When cherry tomatoes are plentiful, I adore this quick-cooking chunky sauce on pizza, pasta, roasted eggplant, or by the spoonful! Don’t hesitate to get creative and use it over rice, quinoa, and/or sautéed zucchini. The flavors are even better the second day, so feel free to prepare in advance. If making ahead, sprinkle the basil on just before serving to retain its bright green color. To make Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan, simply follow the additional directions after the easy sauce recipe, using the Crispy Baked Eggplant in the recipe that follows.

Yields 4 servings.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (2 pints or 1 quart)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

If making Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan

  • 12-16 ounces fusilli, rotini, penne, or other short spiral or tubular pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 recipe Crispy Baked Eggplant (printable recipe follows)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (may substitute fresh, diced or sliced)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute or until fragrant but not turning brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar. As the tomatoes cook and soften, mash them with a fork to help them form a chunky, rustic sauce. Cook the tomatoes for approximately 5-6 minutes, or until broken down and slightly thickened.
  3. If using the sauce for Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan, spoon the sauce over the pasta and then top with the Crispy Baked Eggplant (recipe follows). Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and serve with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired. I often put the plates under the broiler for a minute or so, watching closely, to thoroughly melt the mozzarella.
  4. Garnish with additional torn basil, if desired.


  • Choose the amount of pasta based on whether you like your pasta extra saucy or not. I like a high ratio of sauce to pasta so often use the lesser amount of pasta.

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