Spiced sun-gold tomato sauce.

I wish I could claim responsibility for this recipe; I clipped it from Bon Appetit. I drew five stars in Sharpie marker on the recipe after Rob and I made it last week.

Seriously, this is the best pasta recipe I’ve made in, like, forever.

Do this: Go to the farmers’ market and buy two pints of Sun Gold cherry tomatoes. Not red ones, not yellow pear ones. Sun Golds. Then go to the grocery (or to Colonel De‘s or to Penzey’s) and pick up a small jar of whole cloves and some star anise (get fresh spices; the ones in the way-back of your pantry aren’t good enough for this masterpiece). Yes, it’s fussy to chase after the ingredients. But the result is soooo worth it.

This tomato sauce recipe is magical: The extra-sweet Sun Gold tomatoes practically dissolve into pool of luxuriousness that coats the pasta with a golden hue. The clove and anise lend a warm, rich flavor. The herbs, a combination that I wouldn’t have come up with, add both freshness and complexity.

I can’t tell you how amazingly good this pasta sauce recipe is. While Sun Gold tomatoes are widely available (and my backyard garden is still yielding these sweet gems), I’m planning to make several batches of this sauce to stash in the freezer. With due credit to Bon Appetit, I had to share it with you here. Make it. Soon.

sun gold tomato pasta sauce recipe

(serves 4)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 sprigs basil
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig tarragon
1 star anise
1 whole clove
2 pints Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, halved (about 4 cups)
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 servings dried spaghetti (about 8 oz.)

In a medium skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat; add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it softens (lower the heat if needed; you don't want the onion to get brown and crispy). Add the garlic, herb sprigs and spices; cook and stir until you smell the richness of the herbs and spices, about 2 minutes. Add the Sun Gold tomatoes and vinegar; cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and become saucy, about 10 minutes. Remove the herb sprigs, clove and star anise and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions, use tongs to transfer it to the skillet with the sauce, adding a bit of pasta cooking water to thin the sauce if needed. Cook the spaghetti and sauce together for a minute or two, stirring to coat the pasta well and infuse it with the flavor of the sauce.

8 thoughts on “Spiced sun-gold tomato sauce.

  1. I was thinking just yesterday that, while I love the classic Marcella Hazan recipe, I really want to try something new this year with my cherry tomatoes. I think this will do the trick. 🙂

  2. This recipe sounded so interesting that given my overflowing bowl of sungold tomatoes on my kitchen counter, I had to give it a try. Honestly I thought you might have been exaggerating a bit as to how wonderful it was. Not so….it was everything you described and more!

    My freezer will soon have a stash of this sauce as well.

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