The main content
Cherry Tomato Sauce with Balsamic Vinegar

Cherry Tomato Sauce with Balsamic Vinegar


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 2 small fresh red chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 5-6 cloves garlic, very finely chopped or thinly sliced

  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes

  • Salt and pepper

  • About 1/2 cup basil, torn

  • About 2 tablespoons aged, syrup-like balsamic vinegar or balsamic drizzle

  • A fat handful of parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 pound pepperoncini (red pepper pasta)-flavored penne or spaghetti or  regular or whole wheat penne rigate or spaghetti

  • Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat the EVOO over medium heat in a large saucepan with a lid. Add the chili peppers and garlic; swirl for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add the basil leaves, then cover the pan, raise the heat a bit and cook for 10-12 minutes, shaking pan occasionally until the tomatoes burst. Uncover and stir in the balsamic drizzle and reduce the heat to low.

Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining the pasta.

Add the water and drained pasta to the sauce; add the parsley and toss to combine. Adjust the salt and pepper and top with lots of cheese. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, visit