Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Keep it Simple: Baked Cherry Tomato Pasta


Sometimes simple is best. It's my mantra in the kitchen. It's why I search out local produce and products. It's why we grow vegetables every summer in our garden. I should put a disclaimer here that I pick the plants, and my husband tends to them; I have a black thumb. Fresh and in-season produce can live up to just a little dressing up for a fantastic meal.

I cook in the daytime. I work nights so often lunch is the largest meal in our house. This week, I had a bowl of cherry tomatoes from our garden. It was overflowing. I needed a simple, quick and fairly healthy meal. I didn't have a ton of time (like most of you, time is at a premium) so I found this among my saved recipes folder. I halved this recipe and it turned out great. Below is the full recipe.

Baked Cherry Tomato Pasta
only slightly adapted from Savoring the Seasons who discovered it on the The Wednesday Chef
Serves 4-6

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup fresh (none of that prepacked stuff) breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 pound dried pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup mix of fresh basil, oregano and parsley (you could just use fresh basil)
more Parmesan cheese for grating over the top

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Take a glass baking dish and pour 1/4 cup olive oil in it, to coat. Place cherry tomatoes, cut side up, into pan. I usually don't take pictures of my prep but aren't they just cute?





In a bowl, combine fresh breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.

Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over the top of the tomatoes. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes until tops of tomatoes and mixture is golden.

About 10 minutes into the tomatoes baking, prepare pasta according to directions. The goal here is to have the tomatoes come out of the oven at the same time your pasta is done. Cook pasta until al dente, drain and set aside in a bowl. Take the tomatoes out of the oven, mix in your fresh herbs, then toss with the pasta.

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy the super fresh flavors!

**Just a friendly reminder that I am participating in Foodbuzz's Project Food Blog 2010. It's a competition full of amazing food bloggers who are full of talent. Please take a moment and check out my entry and vote for Lighter and Local to be one of the 400 that advance to the next round. You can check out my entry... here. ** Pin It

8 comments:

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Isn't it great how roasting tomatoes are so easy but add so much flavor? Great dish!

Monet said...

I also attend class at night...so I cook during the day time too! I love the simplicity of this dish...it is amazing how great roasted tomatoes taste!

Anna said...

Lovely pasta, totally agree... simple is awesome.

riceandwheat said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Kimmy! This tomato pasta looks absolutely perfect for the few summer days we have left - yum! Good luck on PFB!

Maren said...

I've been doing so much with tomatoes this late summer/early fall. They just taste so amazing.

Monet said...

I also attend class at night...so I cook during the day time too! I love the simplicity of this dish...it is amazing how great roasted tomatoes taste!

riceandwheat said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Kimmy! This tomato pasta looks absolutely perfect for the few summer days we have left - yum! Good luck on PFB!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Isn't it great how roasting tomatoes are so easy but add so much flavor? Great dish!