Quick Tomato Pan Sauce

Gentle Readers, it has been a week. I’m sure many of you are also feeling the strain of being quarantined and the challenges it brings. Perhaps you’re an essential worker and you have to try to act normal in a world that most decidedly isn’t. Or maybe you’re new to work from home (trust me, it’s not always like this!), and you are completely over it.


A big part of my typical work is travel. I miss it. A lot. So I’m trying to take little trips via my kitchen, but that is tiring, too. There is no shame in saying that cooking everything from scratch three times a day is hard.

Enter one of my exhaustion dishes. I tend to keep a container of cherry tomatoes in my house most of the time. They’re a quick snack, an easy add to a salad, and I just think they are cute. But perhaps they’ve been sitting there a little long, or you’re craving something extra.

I’ve got you.

Quick Tomato Pan Sauce

This makes a couple of servings if you are generous with it, but could be spread to serve four if you are making crostini or just using a dollop for brightness on a dish.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed with the blade of your chef’s knife
8 to 16 ounces of cherry tomatoes (or whatever you have on hand, just trying to give some parameters), washed and sliced in half
salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
1 sprig fresh herbs (I tend toward either rosemary, thyme, or oregano)

  1. Heat your favorite heavy bottomed skillet (pick a smaller one for this amount) over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the garlic, cook just until you smell the garlic. You are flavoring the oil with the garlic here as opposed to trying to cook the garlic.
  2. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar. Stir. Add the herbs and keep stirring.
  3. Cook until the tomatoes dissolve a bit but aren’t just puree. Adjust the heat and seasoning to suit. I sometimes deglaze the pan with a few tablespoons of water if the tomatoes are dry or they are cooking too fast and start sticking to the pan.
  4. Serve on top of toast, eggs, leftover pasta, you name it.


Coming up next week, plantains. 

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Filed under On the Table, Recipes

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