Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, and Fresh Herbs…plus Southern Table Wine.


I’m quite serious about this.  In the time it takes to cook spaghetti al dente, you can create a simple, uncooked sauce for it that requires about the same amount of effort as opening the phonebook, ordering takeout, and paying the delivery guy when he finally arrives an hour later.  This is another great meal for cleaning out the pantry: while tonight I used spaghetti, I often use spaghettini or angel hair.  I also used some Greek oregano from my herb garden, but any fresh herb that you enjoy will work well (the basil in the fridge was a little too wilty).  Marjoram is my favorite, and basil comes in third behind the oregano.  Parsley would be OK, too.  You could use garlic or chili infused oil instead of extra-virgin olive oil, toss in some olives – there are dozens of possible variations.  The idea is to keep the sauce simple, flavorful, uncooked, easy….So easy, that I decided to satisfy my sweet tooth by whipping up a pitcher of the table wine of the South – recipe included, also.

Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, and Fresh Herbs


  • 1/2 pound of spaghetti
  • 12 oz. cherry tomatoes
  • 1 T fresh oregano, marjoram, or basil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled but not crushed
  • ~ 6 T extra virgin olive oil
  • ~ 2 T red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


Fill pot with water, and cook spaghetti according to directions in salted water.  While waiting for the water to boil, get on with your sauce.  Working into a shallow pasta serving bowl, slice the cherry tomatoes in half.  Next, slice the garlic as razor thin as you can get it.  You want the flavor but no overly sharp flavor as the sauce is raw.  Tear the leaves of your herb of choice off their stems.  If they are large, rip them into smaller pieces – bruise them a bit to get the oils working.  Dress the tomatoes, garlic, and herbs with the olive oil and vinegar, then sprinkle over your salt and pepper.  When the spaghetti is al dente, drain it well in a colander, and then quickly transfer it to your serving bowl.  Toss it well with your sauce, and serve with slices of a crusty baguette.  Serves 2, with not a bite left over.

Sweet Tea


  • 2 family-size iced tea bags (my family uses Tetley, so I can’t imagine deviating from this plan)
  • 2 C water, plus more to fill your pitcher
  • 1 C sugar (you could reduce this a bit, even down to 1/2 C, but we’re talking perfection here)
Great tea is all about technique, and every family has their own way of making it.  As I’ve been taught, and I assure you this stuff is magnificent, you begin by making a strong syrup.  In a small saucepan, combine the cup of sugar, two cups of water, and the tea bags.  Heat over high heat, stirring occasionally to dissove the sugar, until it arrives at a rolling boil.  If you add the sugar after you have a pitcher of tea, it will never dissolve properly, and you will end up using far more sugar than is necessary.  Immediately remove from heat and allow the bags to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove the tea bags, and press them against the side of your pitcher, allowing all the syrupy goodness to run out.  Pour the remaining syrup into the pitcher, then fill with cold water.  Stir to mix well, and refrigerate.  Or pour over ice and guzzle.  Just don’t ruin it with mint or lemon.  
Makes 2 quarts of pure nectar.  
I will probably be excommunicated from the South by publishing our secret.

One thought on “Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, and Fresh Herbs…plus Southern Table Wine.

  1. Pingback: Country Captain: A Southern Classic « Appoggiatura

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