Cherry Tomato and Garlic Scape Pasta Sauce

The ingredients except for the cheese!

Intro Note: I am so happy to be back doing cooking demos for our Wakefield Farmers Market, but so sad that, for safety reasons, I can’t do them in person at the market. But, you will find new recipes here each week based on what will be available the next market day. And, NEW! I will be videoing the demos in my home kitchen and posting them on my Culinary Q YouTube cooking channel that I just started during these past few months of Covid-19 staying safe at home time. 🙂 Please consider subscribing! Once I get 100 subscribers, I can get a YouTube URL with culinaryq in it. Thanks!

Here is a link to this week’s video: Apologies for the exhaust fan being on so loud during part of it!

And now, here is the recipe, followed by notes and the story behind it. One quick note: I didn’t put the word “spicy” in the title because, if you don’t like spicy, you may not have checked this out. But if you prefer mild, just leave the red pepper flakes out and, if desired, add other seasoning that appeal to you. in fact, I was wary of the original recipe calling for 2 tablespoons of red pepper flakes, which would translate to 1 tablespoon for the size of my recipe, below. You will see that I reduced the amount to 1 teaspoon and I am glad I did! It has a nice kick without overwhelming.

Spicy Cherry Tomato and Garlic Scape Pasta Sauce

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup chopped/diced garlic scapes (4-5 whole)

garlic scapes in their natural farmers market habitat

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1/8 – 1/4 tsp of Anchovy paste

8-10 fresh basil leaves, torn

6 oz pasta of choice

salt/pepper to taste

Pecorino Romano or other cheese, grated

Put a quart of water on to boil to cook the pasta while sauce simmers. Heat the olive oil in a 10″ saute or 12″ frying pan (or thereabouts) to medium heat and add the chopped garlic scapes and red pepper flakes. Sauté 5-7 minutes. Add the sliced cherry tomatoes and anchovy paste to the pan and sauté on medium high for several minutes and then lower heat. Add the torn basil leaves and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and saucy. Add a few pinches of salt during the simmer process to bring out the liquid from the tomatoes.*

While the tomatoes are simmering, bring the pasta water to a rolling boil and cook the pasta as directed on package, ans strain.

Once both the pasta and sauce are done, add the pasta to the sauce, mix well, bring up heat a bit if needed for serving, and top with grated cheese to taste. Makes 4-6 side servings.

I went to Farmer Dave’s Barn Market in Dracut the other day to ask Farmer Jane (my demo contact) for ideas as to what I should feature in this week’s demo because I wanted to make sure whatever I used would be available on June 20. Given the season (and given that everyone knows what to do with strawberries, which are IN, YAY!) I went with cherry tomatoes from Farmer Dave’s greenhouses and garlic scapes from their fields. To order, go HERE and select Wakefield Farmers Market.

Farmer Dave’s Barn Market. Just up the road a bit in Dracut MA!

Next I search around and found THIS RECIPE from Norman’s Farm Market in Maryland that totally fit the bill as a foundation for my version. I toned down the amount of red pepper flakes, guessed at the amount of garlic scapes, and added some fresh basil.

Also, I grated some of West River Creamery‘s Cambridge English Cheddar (to order, click HERE) instead of a hard cheese more typically used with a tomato sauce, and it worked wonderfully to pull together the flavor and texture of the dish. The original recipe had cheese as an optional ingredient. I think cheese really added to it. But it’s up to you.

While I make sure to keep all my live cooking demos at the market vegan, and will do my best to provide info for vegan substitutes for dishes I create this season that contain animal products, I will be taking advantage of this new venue to also feature products from our fish monger and our meat and dairy farmers. Plus, Whatever I make at home will be on our dinner table, so I need to make sure Steve is going to like it. 🙂

You can also use regular garlic and/or onions instead of garlic scapes, but this time of year, I recommend taking advantage of this funny looking but tasty spring favorite!

Done. with a garlicky zing and a red pepper kick.

* For the science behind salt and tomatoes, see

To pre-order for the June 20 market day, click HERE.

UPDATE: As we had the leftovers for lunch, my husband Steve commented: I’d be surprised if people did not like this.” There, and from a man who typically does like things mixed up. 🙂