Cherry pasta is the term used for a wide range of pasta dishes that contain cherries in fresh or dried form as an ingredient. Cherries may be used as an ingredient in warm pasta dishes or cold pasta salads. They add a special flavor as well as visual appeal to the dish. Besides pasta and cherries, ingredients like cheese, olive oil, onions, dates, dried fruits, flavoring herbs and seasonings are the usual inclusions in such dishes. Turkey, chicken or collard greens are additional ingredients used to prepare popular variants of the dish.
Ingredients and Preparation
Pasta such as orzo or spaghetti, fresh, frozen or dried tart cherries, pitted and chopped dates, garlic, cheese such as feta and basil chiffonade are the ingredients suggested by the cherry pasta recipe. Cherries are pitted and used in whole, halved or quartered form.
To prepare the dish, pasta is cooked in plenty of boiling salted water till al dente. The garlic, onions and cherries are cooked in heated olive oil till onions are tender, after which the mixture is tossed with cooked pasta and seasoned with salt and pepper. It may be topped with crumbled cheese. Dates may also be included in the dish, which are cooked along with the cherries in heated oil.
Cherry pasta is served warm, with a garnish of basil leaves. It may be served as a starter, side or main dish. Cherry pasta salads are served chilled as primo or first course.
Cherry Pasta Recipe Variations
- Collard Greens and Cherry Pasta: This version is made by cooking onions, garlic and cherries in heated olive oil, followed by addition of collard greens, salt and water. The greens are cooked by covering till tender, after which cooked pasta is added and the contents tossed over heat. The dish thus prepared can be topped with crumbled goat cheese.
- Turkey Dried Cherry Pasta Salad: This version is made by combining cooked pasta, cooked turkey, dried cherries, onions, celery toasted whole almonds and a salad dressing containing mustard, sugar, vinegar, poppy seeds, mayonnaise and seasonings and yoghurt.
Another Connotation of the term 'Cherry Pasta'
The term 'cherry pasta' may sometimes be used for a warm pasta dish made with cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are very small sized tomatoes that are cooked in olive oil along with other ingredients like onions and garlic and then tossed with cooked pasta and grated cheese to prepare the dish. Various versions also include them in raw halves form in the dish.