Pan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Pasta (or without)

One of my favorite recipes is really a “non” recipe. Too simple, really, to even be written down! Pan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes are one of my favorite sides, about 10 minutes to make and delicious. They’re great in the summer when cherry tomatoes are at their peak, and nearly as good during the winter months. Cherry tomatoes pack a ton of flavor, even off-season.

Pan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Pan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

When oven roasted Cherry Tomatoes came into their heyday a few years ago, I jumped on the bandwagon – and while they were wonderful, a few things about them left me cold (or maybe I should say hot?}

  • Heating the oven up to 450 or so in the summer? Bummer
  • Cleaning up the pans, or using foil? Something that I just wasn’t that into!
  • Char – over and over we’re learning more about the char on foods and how unhealthy it is. The chemicals react in our bodies to form cancer causing compounds.

A Pan Roasted Cherry tomato solves all the above problems, ready in minutes they are still fresh, vibrant and flavorful!

While I most often use this as a side, now and then I’ll serve it over a simple pasta – Angel hair cooks in minutes and lets you get dinner on the table in a hurry. Pasta can easily be picked up for under a dollar on sale, and combined with a coupon is dirt cheap. Talk about an inexpensive dinner!

While the Pasta/Tomato combination is perfect as a light main dish, it also goes great with chicken or fish.

Try tossing these, cold, in a green salad, perhaps with an Italian dressing and shaves of Parmesan. Top crostini for a quick appetizer. They could even be tossed on top of a pizza.

One final “last touch” you may wish to consider is a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar…

pasta with tuna and tomatoes
pasta with tuna and tomatoes

Pan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Basil or oregano, if desired
  • Salt and pepper,  to taste, if desired.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add cherry tomatoes. After they begin to wilt a bit and just wrinkle, add garlic and saute until heated through and slightly softened, about a minute.

Add basil or oregano, salt and pepper, as desired.

Serve as a side or over pasta.

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Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Strategies Used:

  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes: There is not a doubt that these specialty tomatoes cost more than a plain old tomato at the store, but there are some strategies to finding them at a great price. Since they come packaged, look for coupons (check your coupon site or the producer’s site) and they regularly go on sale in my area – often with a store coupon. (Yes, you can use both.) Check for great sales around any holiday, when they often go for half the regular sales price. Cut them using the method from Kitchen & Cooking Hacks. Simply place the lid of a yogurt, sour cream container, etc. upside down (lip up) on the counter, fill with whatever round objects you want to cut, place another lid lip down, press gently but firmly and slice horizontally through the center. Cost $3.99.
  • Olive Oil: I have a little strategy for buying olive oil – using coupons and sales to lower the price, so click on the link. I also look for new brands and stock up – heavy competition means that when a new brand comes to the store, it is often at a fantastic price for a few weeks, then settles in at around the same price as the others. I think it’s important to use olive oil as opposed to many others – the health benefits outweigh a bit more extra cost, and it can be had at a very reasonable price. I also like the fact that Olive oil contains no hidden trans fats like Canola or Vegetable oil. Cost for this recipe: 8 cents.

Cooking & Kitchen Hacks:

Easily Cut Cherry Tomatoes, Grapes, Olives, Etc. Simply place the lid of a yogurt, sour cream container, etc. upside down (lip up) on the counter, fill with whatever round objects you want to cut, place another lid lip down, press gently but firmly and slice horizontally through the center.

Slice round objects between two lids! Run knife horizontally thru center..
Slice round objects between two lids! Run knife horizontally thru center..

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • Vary the herbs or spices to suit you: Oregano, Basil, fresh or dried, Fennel, Dill – whatever suits your taste or fancy.
  • Sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan or other cheese.
  • A dash of red wine never hurts!
  • The sauce can be fortified with about a tablespoon of tomato paste if you’d like something thicker and more substantial. Simply push the tomatoes to the side of the pan, add the tomato paste and let cook for a moment then stir to combine with the juices and tomatoes.

Cherry Tomatoes, Pan Roasted, often are seen peeking out among my photographs:

 

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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