What I love about pasta is it’s so good, but can also be simple. Every now and then I like to make my own homemade pasta, or follow some recipe for an elaborate sauce, but most of the time, I love just throwing random, simple ingredients together. I used to lean towards heavy, creamy sauces, but lately, I’ve been experimenting a lot with tomato or olive oil based sauces and I’m loving them.
My old favorite used to be simple garlic, olive oil, then tomatoes and sometimes a bit of cream and some parmesan. I’ve recently discovered roasted tomatoes, and I’m waiting for it to get cold outside (blasphemy, I know, I actually hate cold weather, but warm food is my consolation), and I can start roasting up warm, tasty tomatoes, which happen to be a part of my new favorite pasta.
Another love of mine is basil, so it was only natural that I put it into the mix. Again, it’s very simple because it’s only a few easy ingredients, but they mix so well together, and it’s prepared in a way I haven’t had or made before. So, I give you my Roasted Tomato Pasta, more a guide than a recipe.
Roasted Tomato Pasta
250 g pasta (enough for two people)
Extra virgin olive oil
about 5 medium red, ripe, juicy tomatoes
thyme (if you have it)
one whole head of garlic
a very generous handful of basil
freshly grated parmesan
dried chili peppers
First I cut the tomatoes into wedges and then put into a large glass oven-safe dish and drizzled with a good amount of olive oil. Then I three the time leaves in there, crushed a couple red peppers and threw them in along with lots of salt and pepper. Then I mixed everything together so the tomatoes were well coated.
Next, I took the whole head of garlic and trimmed off the top with a knife, taking one slice through while I laid it on it’s side so that most of the cloves were barely exposed. Then I wrapped in foil, and drizzled with olive oil, trying to get some oil covering each clove. Twist the top around, and then along with the tomatoes, they’re ready to put in the oven, a very hot oven, around 400-450F (200-230C) and let them roast. I just wait until the tomatoes are turning black around the edge of the pan and at the tips. The garlic might take a bit longer, but it’s ready when it’s soft and squishy. This might take around 35-45 minutes, it usually does for me.
While the tomatoes and garlic are roasting, put water on to boil for your pasta. While waiting for that to boil, you can grate the cheese and tear up the basil (I don’t like to cut it because I’ve heard it bruises very easily and after you chop basil, it leaves so much of the good juices on the cutting board).
Now you’re all ready to go. Put the pasta in when the water boils (and salt as well). Take out when to your liking and strain. Hopefully your tomatoes and garlic are finished now. The one annoying thing is handling the garlic when it’s hot, but it’s not too bad. I took the garlic, and sometimes you can get a whole clove out, the peel cracks and it’s easy to remove, or just take a knife and pop it out into the bowl of tomatoes. After you’ve gotten it all, pour in some more olive oil, mush up the garlic and stir around with the tomatoes. Put the pasta in, mix again, and then sprinkle on the cheese and basil, maybe with a few cracks of pepper and a bit of salt. Enjoy. Preferably with a glass of wine.