July 19, 2011

What's for dinner

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that given the right fresh ingredients, simple food can be the best food.  A few weeks ago, I took a break from all the sweets and posted some of my favorite pasta dishes.  I mentioned a dish with roasted tomatoes I made and just loved late last summer after picking some grape tomatoes fresh from the vine.  I recently made this for dinner and while it's such a simple thing, I wanted to post it here in case you're looking for an easy dinner idea.  It's so simple and so good.

I picked these tomatoes up at the local market.  Admittedly, they're not as good as the pick-it-yourself variety but it's still a delicious option this time of year.  If you see grape tomatoes on the vine for picking at your local farm, load 'em up!  Also, if you can get your hands on the yellow variety (which are a bit sweeter), I very highly recommend a mixture of red and yellow grape tomatoes for this dish.

All I do is roast these tomatoes in the oven with some olive oil, crushed garlic, salt & pepper (and basil if you have it) for about 45 minutes.  It will make the kitchen smell amazing.  Toss in some pasta and it's time for a hearty and delicious dinner.


Spaghetti with roasted grape tomatoes

2 pints of grape tomatoes, red and yellow variety if available
Olive oil
4-5 cloves of crushed garlic
Coarse salt & pepper
Basil leaves, thinly chopped (optional; I've also used dried basil leaves)
3/4 lb. of spaghetti

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Wash and slice grape tomatoes in half.  Place tomatoes into a shallow, wide baking dish.  Coat with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with coarse salt and pepper.  Add crushed garlic and a small handful of fresh basil (if using).  Stir everything together and spread evenly in to one layer around the pan.

Roast in the oven for about 40-50 minutes.  About halfway through, check on the tomatoes and give it a stir, adding a few splashes of water if the pan seems dry. 

Cook the pasta according to package instructions.  Drain, reserving half a cup of pasta water.  Place the pasta right into the baking dish with the roasted tomatoes and toss.  Add some pasta water if the sauce is too dry.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  You can also add a final drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and some fresh basil leaves on top if you like.

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