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Bucatini with Cherry Tomato Sauce and Fresh Sage
45 minutes 20 minutes active
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This dish takes inspiration from a recipe in “Simple” by Yotam Ottolenghi. But instead of conventional stovetop simmering, we pressure-cook cherry or grape tomatoes, which tend to be dependably good no matter the season, into a tangy-sweet sauce. The pasta cooks in the pot at the same time, so there's no need to boil a separate pot of water. Fresh sage, smoked paprika and pecorino Romano cheese ratchet up the flavors. We especially liked this dish made with bucatini pasta, which is a thick, tubular spaghetti; linguini is a good alternative, but reduce the pressure-cooking time to 4 minutes.
Don't forget to break the pasta in half so the strands lay flat in the pot. And when adding the pasta, make sure no pieces poke above the surface of the liquid. All of the pasta must be fully submerged to cook properly.
20 minutes active
cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
teaspoon red pepper flakes
pints (1 pound) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
teaspoon white sugar
pound bucatini pasta, broken in half
tablespoons chopped fresh sage, divided
teaspoon smoked paprika
Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved or finely grated, to serve
01On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select More/High Sauté. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, pepper flakes and bay, then cook, stirring, until the garlic is light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, 1½ teaspoons salt and 3 cups water. Add the pasta, placing the strands horizontally so they lay flat, then press them into the liquid until submerged.
02Press Cancel, lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 5 minutes. When pressure cooking is complete, quick-release the steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
03Using tongs, toss and stir the mixture to separate the strands of pasta, then stir in 1 tablespoon of sage and the paprika. Re-cover without locking the lid in place and let stand until the pasta is al dente, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay, then transfer to a serving dish and top with pecorino and the remaining 1 tablespoon sage.
Hubby loved this recipe! We’re not sage fans so we sub’d basil. Funny, he said, “It’s what Chef Boyardee is supposed to taste like!”
So simple to make and fantastic flavor! I even forgot about halving the tomatoes and they were all cooked and incorporated. This will definitely be one of our go-to meals!! Thank you MilkStreet
Horrified at breaking the pasta in half so that it can be cooked in an Instant Pot; Italians would throw a fit. Why not just make the sauce as usual, cook the pasta properly, and finish the pasta off in the sauce?
Mark - good news: we have a stovetop version of this recipe! Breaking the noodles in half makes this dish possible in an Instant Pot, and cooking the noodles right in the sauce and under pressure means that they absorb a huge amount of flavor. You can find the stovetop version here: https://www.177milkstreet.com/recipes/pasta-cherry-tomato-sauce-sage-yotam-ottolenghi .
The Milk Street Team
This dish surprised me. For such a simple list of ingredients and such an easy preparation, I expected something dull and boring. Instead, the flavors were layered and complex. This is definitely a keeper and will go into the regular rotation.