I totally stole this from my friend. Roasted tomato pasta is a staple recipe in their house and I had it once and immediately understood why. I have even weaseled my way in enough that now pretty much every time they make this I get invited over. But still that wasn’t enough; I needed it for myself too.
This is the ideal, easy, happy, early summer meal. It’s prefect for when its still getting a little cool at night that you want something that is warming and filling yet still bright and incredibly fresh. Those roasted tomatoes have such a beautiful rich depth of flavors that it will seem like you had to cook for hours when you really only had to spend about 20 minutes in the kitchen. Plus, how could you go wrong with homemade ricotta? This can be a simple weeknight meal or something you can just as easily whip up for guests that still seems elegant. Just make sure you only invite people you really, really like, because if they are anything like me you will have to continue to feed this to them again and again.
And if you are going to continue to show up on your friend’s doorstep and force them to feed you then it is only polite that you come bearing wine. Italians love their wine but more importantly they love their food. Which is why Sangiovese is a much-loved wine in Italy. Sangiovese is made into everything from simple everyday Chianti’s to some of the most highly regarded and sought after wines in Italy. Sangiovese is a mix of bright cherry like fruit followed by gripping tannins and high acid. And it is that combination that makes it a perfect wine for food. The high acidity makes it a good partner with other high acid foods like the browned and roasted tomatoes in this dish and at the same time the rich fat of the homemade ricotta help to calm down some of the tannins.
Adapted from Easy Summer Food
- 8 large, ripe tomatoes, cup in half
- 4 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Freshly squeezed juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 cup
- homemade ricotta cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve
- Place the tomato half, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (about 1 Tbsp) and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano. Roast the tomatoes in a 475°F oven for 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 300° and continue to cook the tomatoes for another 1 to 1 ½ hours. You want the tomatoes caramelized, browned, and reduced by about half the size.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a good helping of salt and the spaghetti and cook, according to package directions, until al dente, usually about 9 or 10 minutes. About halfway through the pasta cooking add the remaining olive oil to a large, deep skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes until soft and lightly gold but before they take on too much color. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds. Reserve about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta of the rest. Add the pasta to the skillet as well as the rest of the chopped oregano, lemon juice, and the reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and toss together, still over the medium heat for about 2 more minutes. To serve the pasta top with roasted tomatoes, homemade ricotta, and shaved Parmesan.