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Volume 135

Dinner This Week: Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce and Fried Caper Crumbs, Dan Dan Mian (Sichuan Noodles with Chili Sauce and Pork), and Deviled Pork Chops for dinner in about an hour.

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

Dinner 1: Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce and Spicy Green Salad

Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce and Fried Caper Crumbs is perfect when you want a fresh tomato sauce in the middle of the winter. You can toss cherry tomatoes directly into the pan without any prep, and they don't need lengthy cooking to concentrate their flavor or thicken into a sauce. We pair the pasta with a Spicy Salad with Mustard and Balsamic Vinaigrette. This bold salad uses a mix of pungent greens, like arugula and watercress, that are dressed with a mustard-y vinaigrette.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pasta with Cherry Tomato Sauce and Spicy Green Salad

Equipment Review Food Processors

Our longtime favorite is powerful and easy to use, but is it still the best choice?

Dinner 2: Dan Dan Mian and Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Dan Dan Mian, Sichuan's most popular street food, consists of chewy noodles bathed in a spicy, fragrant chili sauce and topped with crispy, deeply savory bits of pork. Gently heating Sichuan chili powder, ground Sichuan peppercorns, and cinnamon in vegetable oil for 10 minutes yields a flavorful chili oil base for the sauce. For crisp-tender Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Ginger, we separate the leaves and stalks and cook them separately. Small amounts of soy sauce and fresh ginger accent the bok choy’s fresh, vegetal flavor without overwhelming it.

Printable Shopping Lists: Dan Dan Mian with Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Equipment Review Nakiri

Beloved by Japanese home cooks, these traditional vegetable-cutting knives deserve a place in your kitchen.

Dinner 3: Deviled Pork Chops and Steamed Kale

Our Deviled Pork Chops are slow-roasted in a low oven in order to keep the lean meat as juicy as possible. We “devil” the chops by painting them with a bold, balanced mix of sharp Dijon mustard combined with dry mustard (for an extra jolt of heat), minced garlic, and cayenne and black peppers. For textural contrast and visual appeal, we coat the tops of the chops with crispy toasted panko bread crumbs. Our Pan-Steamed Kale with Raisins and Almonds starts by cooking the greens in a small amount of chicken broth. Once the kale is just tender, we remove the lid and allow excess liquid to evaporate, then briefly sauté the greens with a few flavorings that accent but don't overpower its earthiness. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Deviled Pork Chops with Steamed Kale


To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.