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Burst Cherry Tomato and Chimichurri Penne

Burst Cherry Tomato and Chimichurri Penne


  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper or 1 fresh red chili pepper, finely chopped

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosley packed

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

  • 2 shallots, coarsely chopped

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar

  • 1 pound penne

  • Shaved ricotta salata, for topping


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; cover the pan. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes burst, about 15 minutes. For the chimichurri, in a food processor, pulse the herbs, shallots, lemon juice, vinegar and 1/4 cup EVOO to a smooth paste. (Add more EVOO if necessary.) Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the starchy cooking water. Stir the starchy cooking water into the tomatoes. Toss the pasta with the chimichurri and the tomatoes; season. Top with the ricotta salata.