Friday, June 11, 2010

Pasta con Pomodori Arrosto

Pasta con Pomodori Arrosto
Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes
Serves 4
We've all tasted spaghetti sauce but sauce made with roasted tomatoes is a "horse of a different colour", roasting adds an extra sweet, caramelized dimension  to the sauce
2 pounds medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon coarse Kosher salt

1 pound of your favourite pasta
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
1.  Preheat oven to 400° F.
2.  Spray a cookie sheet with no stick cooking spray. 
3.  In a small mixing bowl combine the 1/2 cup of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and the seasonings and pour the mixture into a large, re-sealable plastic bag (1 gallon size); put in the halved tomatoes, seal the bag and shake to thoroughly coat the tomatoes.  Refrigerate the mixture for ½  to 1 hour to allow the tomatoes to marinate.
4.  Remove the tomatoes from the bag and place the tomato halves, cut side up, on the prepared cookie sheet.
5.  Place the cookie sheet on a rack in the middle of the oven and roast for 45 to 60 minutes until the tomatoes soften and are browned on the top.
6.  After the tomatoes have been cooking about ½ hour, place a large pot of salted water over a high flame and heat to a rapid boil.
7.  Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente; reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.  Drain the pasta.
8.  In the bowl of a food processor place ½ the roasted tomatoes and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lightly process.  Pour the processed tomatoes into a large bowl, add the cooked pasta, the remaining (unprocessed) roasted tomatoes, and 1/4 cup of the chopped fresh basil and toss to mix well.  If the pasta seems too tight (dry) for your tastes, loosen it by adding a little of the reserved pasta water and re-tossing (don’t add too much water as this pasta should be rather tight).  Discard any unused pasta cooking water.
9.  Either transfer the pasta to a large, flat pasta platter and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan  cheese  and additional red pepper flakes (to serve family style) or evenly divide the pasta among  6 plates and top each with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (to serve individuals).
10.  Serve accompanied by crusty Italian bread and additional Parmesan cheese, the remaining chopped basil, and red pepper flakes on the side.

Next Week's Posting:  Beef Tips with Mushrooms and Sherry

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