November 3, 2009

Roasted Mini Tomato Pasta in Photos

Posted in Pasta: salad-like tagged , , , at 2:48 pm by jenniec00ks

grapetompasta 020This pasta recipe is SIMPLE and is great for many reasons aside it’s wonderful flavors.  It’s very low maintenance (in contrast to the orzotto I made at the same time!)  Tastes great hot or cold, keeps well for lunch the next day, and doubles easily for groups.

*As for the quantities listed of basil and garlic, plus or minus a bit won’t hurt. Adjust to your liking, I grabbed what was in the fridge.

Serves 3.

1 pint of mini tomatoes (grape, cherry, whatever)
~8 fresh basil leaves* see note above
~8 garlic cloves* see note above
8 oz short pasta (1/2 box, I used shells)
1/2 bag of baby spinach (~3 oz, but it could have used more)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I really used a parm/romano blend)

1. Crack the garlic cloves but don’t remove the casing. You can do this by laying it on a counter and pushing it down with your palm, or laying a knife across it and hitting the knife (carefully) with your fist as if you WERE trying to remove it from the case.

2. Foil down a baking sheet (preferably with sides so that the tomatoes can’t roll off) and start the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Spread out the mini tomatoes (I used grape, 12 oz for $2 on sale) and the cracked garlic on the foiled pan. Drizzle them with the 2 tbsp (estimate!) of olive oil, salt, and pepper to your taste. Give ’em a little toss with a spoon to make sure everything’s covered.

grapetompasta 0014. Pop them in the oven for ~18 minutes, the tomatoes will burst in the oven so don’t be alarmed.  Also get a pot of water boiling about now for the pasta, as it has to come to a boil and takes ~7-10 minutes to cook depending on the kind you choose.  Cook the pasta al dente, but reserve a  half cup of the starchy water.

5. After you pull the pan out, use tongs to squeeze the garlic out of the paper into a bowl.  Then take a fork to them and mash them as best you can.

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6. Add a ladle (1/2 cup) of pasta water to the garlic.

grapetompasta 0117. Then toss the roasted tomatoes in with all the wonderful oil and juices from the pan. Not all of mine are wrinkley and burst because I pulled them out too early (~15 mins, so I recommend about 18 mins).

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8. Take a fork again and mash up the tomatoes as best as possible, doesn’t have to be perfect, the whole dish has a slightly rustic feel to it.

grapetompasta 014grapetompasta 0189. Throw the cooked pasta and the baby spinach in and give it a toss to let the heat of the pasta wilt the baby spinach.  Then tear up the basil leaves (no knife necessary) and add to the mix.  The picture to the left is obviously missing the greenery in it.

10. Top with the shredded hard cheese – I used a Parmesan/Romano mix because it was cheaper at the grocery store and I think it gives a good punch of flavor.


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YUMMMMM & healthy too!