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August 22, 2006

The tomatoes are ripening!!

Okay, so it would seem that my whining about having a bumper crop of tomatoes that were never going to ripen was a little premature. We've had a few good days of sunshine and things seem to be coming along nicely!
The Siletz and Romas are looking good...


... and I'm stunned at the size of these Juliet "cherry" tomatoes. This isn't even the biggest one I found!

With this luscious bounty before me, I decided to make a roasted tomato pasta sauce for dinner. I used to make something like it when I was away at university (I was lucky enough to live in a house with a garden all to myself at the time). Even though it was a mere couple of years ago (*ahem*), I don't remember exactly what I used to do, so tonight I just winged it. According to my family, the result is worth remembering. Here is what I did:

Roasted Tomatoes Margherita

Take copious amounts of fresh ripe tomatoes and slice them about 1/4" thick. Lay them in a lightly oiled baking dish (I used a 9 x 13) so they're overlapping each other.
Roughly chop some fresh basil (as much as you like - I used about 1/2 cup of leaves, packed) and tuck it in between the layers of tomatoes.
Mince lots of fresh garlic (about 4-6 cloves, depending on the size) and sprinkle over the tomatoes and basil.
Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over everything (I'd say several tablespoons to 1/3 of a cup).
Add some freshly cracked pepper and season with salt.
Put the whole thing into a 400 degree oven and roast for approximately 45-55 minutes (don't let it dry out).
While the tomatoes are roasting, put a pot of water on for the pasta. I used spaghetti tonight because that's what I had, but it would be really good with penne or something similar that would cradle the chunks of tomatoes. (I probably used about 12 ounces of pasta, but I guess it depends on how many tomatoes you've got).
When the sauce looks done, pour it over the hot pasta in the pot and toss to coat. Add extra salt and pepper if necessary.
We were torn over what kind of cheese to use with it, so we tried both feta and parmesan. My daughter and I liked the tang of the feta with it, but my husband liked how the parmesan brought out the sweetness of the roasted tomatoes and garlic. Chevre, asiago, pecorino or any other flavorful cheese would probably taste great too.

Dining alfresco definitely adds to the flavour!

Check out Sweetnicks' ARF/5-A-Day Tuesdays for lots of great healthy recipe ideas.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I made this for dinner last night. All I have ripe at this time are taxi tomatoes so yellow made the dish look rather bland. I sliced some roasting peppers from the garden and added to the tomatoes, basil and garlic. Thank you for posting this dish. Its easy and tastes wonderful!!!
Beverly

Cheryl said...

Hi Beverly,
I'm glad you enjoyed it - adding peppers sounds like a great idea!

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