Small is beautiful
Cherry tomato is a relative recent phenomenon in Italy. And in Sicily very recent. The Pachino area started growing them in the late eighties. They differ from other small tomatoes specially in form. Perfect spheres
It was a remarkable change though. Till then the adagio was ‘the bigger the better’. A big tomato can be cut in pieces. Easy peasy.
Growing small tomatoes had a slow and reluctant start. Apart from being small, they also need more sun. And a temperature between roughly twenty and thirty degrees. In other words, the Sicilian climate.
Cherry tomato invasion
Why did the cherry tomato have that global success? Well probably due to the shape. They are perfectly spherical. Taste wise they are sweeter. And there is no need for cutting.
They are small and hence perceived as cute. Soon cherry tomatoes were replacing their big brothers (tomato is male in Italian).
Cut in half they basked in salads. But they also make a great impression in oven baked fish recipes.
Cherry tomato sauce
Turning cherry tomatoes in sauce may seem a squander. They lose one of their main characteristics: their shape. But taste wise it is a winner.
Between you and me: tell your guests you used cherry tomato. Because it often passes as really good (ordinary) tomato sauce.
This sauce needs little seasoning. Actually, this sauce doesn’t need any seasoning whatsoever.
Pasta with cherry tomato sauce
The recipe for cherry tomato sauce is simple.
Cut the tomatoes in half and oven bake them. Till they turn light brown. A valid alternative is frying them in a pan. Add a clove of garlic and pass them through a vegetable mill. Let the sauce thicken for twenty minutes on a slow fire.
Transfer your fresh boiled pasta in the pan. With half a cup of water the pasta boiled in.
If you want to add cheese, use a neutral one. Parmesan for example.
The basis of the deluxe version starts as in the above stated recipe.
Fry basil leaves till they are crunchy. Let them dry on blotting paper. Crumble some and add on leave on top of your pasta.
In order to recall the cherry tomato, add some fresh ones. Cut in half.
Use a kitchen fork to twirl on portion. Place it on the plate and garnish with some extra sauce.