I blinked and this week was gone. Part of the problem may have been that I finally joined Facebook. I have resisted the force until now but finally lost the battle. I am still learning the ropes, enjoying photos of friends and their kids and desparately trying not to get sucked in too often.
Last Sunday, when I served this plate of pasta to my husband, he said it tasted like he was at a good Italian restaurant! Mini Whipped also expressed her satisfaction through a series of squeals and leg kicks. I think I figured out the ultimate red sauce trick: roasting fresh tomatoes. Stephen at the HOG Food Blog first gave me the idea when he posted this tip for spring tomatoes. I had forgotten about it until he wrote about it again on his latest post about Tomato Soup.
I may have mentioned before (a few dozen times) that I don’t eat raw tomatoes. Lately, each week, I have found a pint of cherry tomatoes in my organic produce delivery. Now I know exactly what to do with them! If you have time, follow Chef Stephen’s tip for Roma Tomatoes, which takes two hours in a low temperature oven. If you don’t have that much time, try my altered version below. Truly, it was the easiest and best pasta recipe that has come out of the Whipped kitchen!
Roasted Tomato and Garlic Sauce
Makes enough for 4 pasta servings.
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
4-5 cloves of garlic
olive oil (about 1/4 cup total)
coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil on a sheet pan and spread it around with your fingers so it is covered liberally. Cut tomatoes in half and place them on the pan, open side up. Peel the garlic and cut each clove in half and place them around between the tomatoes. Drizzle more olive oil over the tomatoes and garlic. Sprinkle it all with some large pinches of coarse sea salt. Put the pan in the oven. Cook about 30 minutes, checking to be sure garlic is not burned. Remove from the oven when garlic is roasted and tomatoes are bubbly.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Then, scrape the contents of the entire pan into a blender. Pulse until you have a thick puree. Toss the sauce over your favorite pasta. Add freshly grated cheese and sausage if you like. Or, add a little cream to the tomato and garlic puree if you want a creamier sauce.