You haven’t lived until you’ve slow roasted tomatoes. Prepare to have your mind blown away.
Claiming to be a tomato purist, I wait all year for tomato season. Snubbing the hot house varieties all season long, and celebrating the first home grown fruit by making the world’s greatest sandwich, the BLT. Then we eat them on everything, eggs and anything cooked and raw we can think of.
But there’s a cure for those winter tomato blues. Let’s talk about those fun packages of small cherry and grape tomatoes that brighten our winter produce departments. When roasted at a low temperature, you’d swear someone snuck into your oven and sprinkled them with magic. Just halve them, place them cut side up on a sheet pan, sprinkle them with sea salt and a little sugar if you’d like and they transform into a culinary treat.
Once you’ve slow-roasted these tiny beauties, there are so many ways to use them. Layer them over meat, use them in salsas, but make sure you add them to this creamy pasta sauce. Choose your favorite fun-shaped pasta and serve on your next pasta night. Heaven!
- 1½ pounds cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot
- 2 to 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped basil
- 1 pound dried capricci or unique shaped pasta
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese divided
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Arrange cherry tomatoes cut-side up on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and a grinding of pepper. Roast tomatoes until they are somewhat puckered and shriveled, but still juicy, about 90 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and salt generously. In a large, deep sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt butter. When butter has just begun to foam, stir in shallot. Cook, stirring frequently, until shallot is softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Scrape in tomatoes and any juices that have collected on the baking sheet. Add thyme sprigs and pour in cream. Heat gently to a simmer over low to medium-low heat. Right before dressing the pasta, turn off heat and stir in basil.
Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to manufacturer's instructions until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water. Return pasta to pot and spoon two-thirds of sauce over it. Add ½ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Toss gently to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of reserved pasta water, if necessary, to loosen sauce and toss again.
Love those creamy pasta dishes? Take a look at this
Pasta with Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Cream … They’re what’s for Dinner.