The appeal might start with the term sun gold, but trust me when I say that this recipe's got plenty more going for it. Need proof? It's a Mario Batali recipe. Sure, it's basically just yummy yellow cherry tomatoes cooked over high heat in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes until they blister and burst. But doesn't that sound really, really good?
Some excess pasta water, grated cheese and some more olive oil add body to what is a comparatively light sauce. A large handful of torn basil leaves add... um... basil adds basily deliciousness. I don't know. It's good. It's good ingredients and good, simple techniques and just a really good way to make pasta. And also it's called sun gold. There's also that, in case you forgot.
The finishing touch? A big old handful of toasted panko breadcrumbs! Very crunchy, and very tasty. It's surprising how much a little texture can bring to a dish.
So there you have it. A recipe that tastes as delicious as its yummy sounding adjective. Hope you enjoy!
Pasta with Sun Gold Tomatoesfrom Bon Appetit May 2011 by Mario Batali via epicurious.com
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces Sun Gold or cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 ounces capellini, spaghetti, or bucatini
¾ cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan
8 medium fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
toasted breadcrumbs (for garnish; optional)
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes, season with salt, and cook, covered slightly and swirling pan often, until tomatoes blister and burst, 10-12 minutes. Press down on tomatoes to release their juices. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5 quart pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
Transfer pasta to skillet with tomatoes; set over high heat. Add ½ cup pasta water. Cook, stirring and tossing often, until sauce thickens and begins to coat the pasta, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining oil, cheese, and half the basil and toss until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Add remaining basil, season with salt, and serve with breadcrumbs, if desired.