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Recipe: Simple cherry tomato sauce

A sauce of simplicity

A sauce of simplicity

I made this for dinner recently as a side for my Roast Chicken in Butter Sauce. Each time I make a tomato sauce, it’s different. It’s a wondrous, organic, changing thing and can taste so different each time, redolent of memories from the past, spag bol when I was a kid, bruschetta on my first Italian holiday, a wintry snack when I lived in Sardegna.

Whatever I did tonight, it worked beautifully; it was the perfect sauce, and so pretty too when I served it, as the cherry tomatoes remain delightfully whole for the most part. Sorry I didn’t take a picture – but I served linguine with cherry tomato sauce on the side with some soft, buttery roast chicken and a little rocket and grana padano. Here’s the cherry tomato sauce, and it serves 3-4.

What you need

  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 big fat clove of garlic
  • Tsp olive oil
  • Handful of: Lemon Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary and Parsley
  • Tsp Fresh Cream (optional)
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper


  • Warm up the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Throw in all the cherry tomatoes, and put a lid on the pan. Turn down to a low heat, and leave them to steam like this for 10 minutes.
  • Add the lemon oregano, thyme and rosemary, and squeeze in the clove of garlic. Add salt & pepper, stir, and put the lid on for another 5-7 minutes. You will see when the tomatoes are cooked – they will split and bubble and ooze.
  • Add a tsp of fresh cream and a good handful of chopped parsley. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

I served it with linguine; try with spaghetti, simple and clean, with a fresh green salad, and have an espresso afterwards.

We all have our own version of tomato sauce, we all use secret shortcuts (I know a few fans of the spoonful of sugar method). This one is so simple, and so lovely. Try it.


  1. I made this over the weekend Jacqueline, and it turned out really really well, thanks so much! I used a punnet of cherry tomatoes that didn’t taste great raw, so couldn’t be used in a salad – but they were perfectly delicious in the sauce. The herbs really make it, and I threw in a squirt of lemon as well (no lemon oregano in the house). Do you put in the garlic whole or chop it?

  2. Hey Jean! Glad you tried it…I squeeze the garlic in because it’s winter and I want to ward of colds, but often I just throw it in whole, for a milder flavour.

  3. So do you mean you roast the garlic and squeeze it in, or do you use garlic from a tube?