Pasta with fresh cherry tomatoes and basil

BY STANLEY TUCCI Cookbook author and actor Stanley Tucci explains, “When I was working a lot in Los Angeles, it seemed that every restaurant had it on their menu—which is hardly surprising: they have access to terrific tomatoes year-round.” If you have a heat diffuser, use it when sautéing the garlic and onion; you want them to soften but not take on any color before adding the tomatoes.
4 to 6


  • 1 pound pasta (capellini, linguine, or spaghetti)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn, plus more for serving
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package until al dente.

  2. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook over gentle heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not colored. Then add the tomatoes and raise the heat to high. Add the salt and toss everything together. Cook for a couple of minutes only, then throw in the torn basil to wilt it. The tomatoes’ juices will emulsify with the oil, creating a sauce.

  3. When the pasta and the sauce are done, remove the spaghetti from the water with tongs and add it directly to the sauce, tossing them together – you may need to divide both the sauce and the pasta and do this in two batches. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Transfer to serving bowls and sprinkle with extra fresh basil if you like. Serve with some freshly grated Parmigiano on the side.


Recipe from The Tucci Table, by Stanley Tucci and Felicity Blunt, with Kay Plunkett-Hogge (Gallery Books, 2014)

Show more