Our larger tomatoes are ripening slowly this year, which is surprising given the heat. But our cherry tomato plants are going crazy! We’ve been adding them to everything, making nectarine and cherry tomato salads (because my nectarine tree is also in full production mode), slicing them and adding them to quesadillas, making salsa, and of course just eating them by the handful. This pasta with baked cherry tomatoes has become a favorite.
I’ve been using EatYourBooks to find new recipes, which is how I found my new favorite: pasta with baked cherry tomatoes, from Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy (Amazon link). I’m using it because of a glut of cherry tomatoes in the garden but I think it would also be good in the winter, when cherry tomatoes are still decent at the grocery store.
I cut the original recipe for Pasta with Baked Cherry Tomatoes in half to use just half a pound of pasta. The first time I made it I left out the ricotta because I didn’t have any and it was still delicious, just a little lighter without the cheese.
Pasta with Baked Cherry Tomatoes
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 5 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- big pinch of red pepper flakes
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorina or a combo, plus more for passing
- 1/2 pound of pasta
- 2 ounces ricotta or ricotta salata
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Put of a large pot of salted water on to boil.
- In a large bowl, stir the halved cherry tomatoes with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the bread crumbs, salt and red peppers over the tomatoes and toss to mix well.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the tomato mixture on it so the tomatoes are in a single layer. Bake about 25 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft but not dried out.
- When the tomatoes are almost done, start your pasta cooking. I used spaghetti but you can use whatever you’d like. Cook according to the package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the rest of the olive oil (3-4 Tablespoons) in a large skillet and cook the garlic slices a minute or two. When they are sizzling, add a cup of the pasta water to the pan and let half of it boil away, then lower the heat. Stir in the chopped parsley.
- When the tomatoes are done, remove the pan from the oven.
- When the pasta is done, lift the pasta out of the water with tongs, letting it drain a bit, then add it to the skillet. Toss the pasta with the oil, water, garlic and parsley, then add the baked tomatoes and the shredded basil. turn the heat off and toss everything together, then sprinkle the Parmesan on the pasta and toss again.
- Shred the ricotta (if using) over the pasta and serve.
The only time I can remember cooking with cherry tomatoes is an eggplant and cherry curry from Meera Sodh’as Made In India (Amazon), which was fantastic! She has the recipe on her site, too: eggplant and cherry tomato curry
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