One of my favorite hotels in Italy is the Uber famous Le Sirenuse in Positano, home to the Michelin starred restaurant La Sponda. They make the most fantastic, simple cherry tomato marinara sauce! And the Chef shared his recipe with my friend (and chef) Dana Slatkin owner of Beverly Hills Farm Girl, who then shared it with me, and now, me to you!
For those of you who know me, you know that cooking is something I try to avoid at all costs. I feel it’s safer for everyone this way (as witnessed in my IG video of setting the pot on fire trying to boil water) . However, every now and again, I get this crazy nuisance of an urge to try my luck with a new recipe. As long as it takes the least amount of time and effort, and is healthy and delicious- and for an added bonus, this recipe has beautiful fall color presentation!
The secret is in the tomatoes. I had no idea there was such thing as canned “cherry” tomatoes (you can even find them through my affiliate link on Amazon!). Evidently, the universe unveils its secrets to me in frustratingly tiny increments! And for all of us carb conscious folks, butternut squash noodles are game changers. 🙂
Cherry Tomato Marinara With Butternut Squash Noodles
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large unpeeled cloves of garlic,
- 2 whole sprigs fresh basil leaves, plus additional leaves for garnish
- 16 ounces Italian canned cherry tomatoes
- 12 ounces butter not squash noodles or your favorite spaghetti
- 4 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Fresh ricotta cheese or grated Parmesan for serving
1. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Crush the unpeeled garlic cloves and toss in the pan peels and all (peels have tons of flavor, pick them out later) with the basil leaves until they begin to brown slightly. Add the tomatoes plus salt to taste and toss them around with the other ingredients for 5 to 6 minutes. Taste and adjust or add seasoning to your liking. Word to the wiser than me, be careful adding the tomatoes to the hot oil, the stuff is going to spray everywhere like a bad firecracker! I learned this the hard way – pre-arm yourself with your sauté pan lid as a shield and you’ll be fine. 🙂
2. In a separate skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat (avocado oil is the best for high heat, and super healthy). Sauté the spinach until wilted and dry add the squash noodles and sauté until tender. Add as much sauce as desired and toss to coat the noodles evenly. The remaining sauce will refrigerate in an airtight container for at least two weeks. Or, if you’re lazy like me, make a ton of the sauce and freeze in individual
serving size freezer bags for a super quick easy meal on the go!
3. Transfer the noodles to a serving dish and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves, pinenuts, and cheese. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
This tasty, super easy recipe jumped the biggest hurdle of them all…. my kid! My vegetable averse teen who won’t choke down a single veggie LOVES this dish! That alone made it worth my time in the kitchen.