Sweet Cherry Tomato Pasta

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Take it from me, the “Queen of the Cooking Challenged,” this is one SUPER yummy fail-proof recipe! When I started the “I Hate to Cook” series of easy recipes, I truly did hate cooking.  But what I am finding is the MORE I cook, the more I am actually NOT hating it! Gasp!  And it is recipes like this that have built my confidence. I even served it to my in-laws! And they loved it, or at least they told me so to humor me.

I found Jessica Seinfeld’s Sweet Cherry Tomato Pasta on her Do it Delicious site. LOVE that site. Ladies, if you are at all cooking challenged like me, it is SO great because you can also watch a quick video on exactly HOW to make it. For me, that is really helpful because to some it might seem like second nature to know how to “smash garlic” but to a non-cook it is intimidating!  It takes all of the guesswork and stress out of the dish!

I tried this recipe out as-is as a vegetarian dish to start, and loved it, but then after my kids sampled Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage and gobbled it up, I decided to give it a go adding the sausage, which has been uber-yummy!  So I will give you the recipe with sausage, you can easily omit.

{Recipe from Jessica’s site: My comments in italics}

1 pound spaghetti (I use Trader Joe’s organic wheat pasta)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large cloves garlic, chopped (I use 2 tsp of jarred minced garlic if in a rush)

1 handful (1 cup) fresh basil leaves, torn, plus extra for sprinkling (I like even more than this…LOVE fresh basil!)

2 pints cherry tomatoes (have made with both cherry & grape and the cherry turn out better in my opinion)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup fresh ricotta

1 package fully cooked Trader Joe’s chicken sausage


Start boiling your water. Cook pasta according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and basil, and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, salt and pepper (12 turns on pepper mill) and cook, covered, for 8 minutes.

I periodically removed cover to stir, like every couple of minutes.  One time I made it and kept the cover on for the full 8 minutes and the tomatoes overcooked.

Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring, until the tomatoes split. Watch the video on her site to see what a “split tomato looks like!”

Meanwhile, cut the sausage into little circles and heat a skillet on medium heat. Cook the sausage until heated through, about 5 – 10 minutes.  They are fully cooked already, just have to heat them up.

Your pasta should be about done. Drain it.

Toss the pasta with the tomatoes and sausage and stir in the ricotta and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Serve sprinkled with the extra basil.

I also added some shaved fresh Parmesan on top. LOVE!


Even though my little ones won’t eat the whole dish put together, they will eat the components separately, go figure. So, I will serve them plain noodles with butter, cherry tomatoes and sausage on the side.


If you have an EASY EASY EASY go-to weeknight dinner recipe – one you think even I could do – please send it to me at jennifer {at} tinyoranges.com and I will feature your blog / recipe on my site after I give it the dummy test (me being the dummy) to see if I can make it.  And to see if I can not only make it, but if it is edible.   Because if I can do it, anyone can.

Happy cooking (… and not hating it!)


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  1. 1
    Cathyb says:

    Sounds yummy and easy! I will try tonight! Thank you!

  2. 2
    nicole says:

    I can\’t wait to try this – it looks delicious! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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