I wish I could take credit for how unbelievably delicious this liquid gold pasta sauce is, but it’s really just nature showing off with the perfect balance of sweet Sungold tomatoes, garlic, onion, and plenty of olive oil! Plus a splash of something extra…
The best part is that it is so easy to make! Hot tip: grab ripe Sungold tomatoes now while they’re still in season and make a bunch of this sauce to freeze for gloriously easy meals to come – you (and your kids) will drink it right up, so make extra!
1/3 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
6 cups Sungold tomatoes (or cherry or chopped fresh tomatoes)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar, or to taste
1 lb rigatoni
½ cup freshly torn buffalo mozzarella or ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Sea salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste
Garnish (optional): flaky sea salt, chile flake, freshly torn basil
•In a saucepan, heat olive oil over high heat until shimmering. Add onions and salt, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute before adding thyme leaves. After 1 minute, stir in Sungold tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes release their skins and juices and sauce thickens. Add red wine vinegar and cook 2-3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove pan from heat and set aside to let cool.
•Bring salted water to a boil in a pot. Remember not to overfill the pot – you want just enough water to cover the pasta by an inch or two for maximum concentration of starch and salt seasoning in your final pasta sauce. Cook pasta in salted water, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes less than package instructions. Pasta should be tender but just a touch firm; it will finish cooking together with the pasta sauce. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
•Puree the cooled Sungold tomato sauce in a blender, working in batches if necessary. You can save any leftovers once cool in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months.
•Add the cooked pasta and 1-2 cups of the sungold tomato sauce to a pot (you can always add more as needed), plus a splash of the reserved pasta water to help the sauce bind to the noodle. Over low heat, stir until the sauce thickly coats each noodle. Turn off the heat and add your cheese to the pot, stirring regularly until melted and distributed evenly.
•Divide pasta evenly among serving bowls. Serve with a sprinkle of flaky salt, chile flake if desired, and some freshly torn basil leaves if you have them!