Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce with Balsamic Vinegar Spaghetti

This recipe orignally came from Rachael Ray's version here, but I made some changes and we tried it the other day and LOVED it. It's quite spicy, so if you aren't in to spice, then you may want to lay off on the crushed red peppers. We just used whatever balsalmic vinegar we had in the pantry, but next time, I would like to try her balsalmic drizzle recipe!

Makes 2-4 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes



  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper {or 2 small fresh red chiles, seeded and finely chopped}
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, very finely chopped or thinly sliced
  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes {if you can find Sun Sugar tomatoes, they are AMAZING!}
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1/2 cup basil, torn
  • About 2 tablespoons aged, syrup-like balsamic vinegar or balsamic drizzle
  • A fat handful of parsley, finely chopped {I just sprinkled some dried}
  • 1 pound of gluten-free spaghetti {she uses pepperoncini-flavored penne}
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, optional


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan with a lid.
  3. Add peppers and garlic to olive oil, swirl for a minute or 2 then add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add basil leaves, cover pan, raise heat a bit and cook 10-12 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, until tomatoes burst.
  5. Uncover and stir in balsamic drizzle and reduce heat to low.
  6. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente. Reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup starchy cooking water just before draining pasta.
  7. Add water and drained pasta to sauce, add parsley and toss to combine. Adjust salt and pepper and forget the cheese because it's not good for you;)
  8. While you are waiting for any of these steps to finish, go ahead and clean up your kitchen a little--you'll thank me later.

Did you try this recipe?
Did you make any substitutions or have any suggestions? 

Let me know what you thought!