Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Oven-Roasted Medley Makes Pasta Sauce

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Oven-Roasted Medley Makes Pasta Sauce

Article excerpt

ONE OF MY favorite toppings for pasta is an oven-roasted medley of eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper, onion and garlic. Oven-roasting intensifies the flavor of the vegetables, producing a sauce that is full of character and great taste.

In the following recipe I use the same technique, but simplify the recipe by using only red and yellow cherry tomatoes and unpeeled cloves of garlic.

Cherry tomatoes, besides being intensely flavored, are convenient because they require no slicing or chopping. Just rinse and pull out their green stems and they are ready to roast. Use all red cherry tomatoes if the yellow ones are unavailable. But I think the red and yellow are pretty together, and they taste especially good. The sweetness of the yellow tomatoes and the acid of the red tomatoes makes the sauce more balanced on the palate. The roasted garlic cloves add a pleasant nuttiness to the sauce. By roasting the garlic cloves unpeeled, they turn a rich golden brown without getting bitter. After they are cooked, the whole roasted clove slips easily out of the crisp peel. Oven roasting adds a satisfying depth of flavor to tomatoes. The roasted tomato juices mingle with the olive oil, adding a wonderful, rich taste. I like this sauce on a chunky pasta shape like orecchiette, shells or cavatelli. To give it a fresh taste, I add a handful of fresh basil, watercress or arugula leaves just before serving. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve with chunks of crusty bread to soak up the golden tomato- and garlic-laced juices in the bottom of the pasta bowls. MENU Orecchiette with roasted red and yellow cherry tomato sauce Crusty bread Sugared figs and raspberries ORECCHIETTE WITH ROASTED RED AND YELLOW CHERRY TOMATO SAUCE 1 pint (2 cups) red cherry tomatoes, rinsed, stems removed 1 pint (2 cups) yellow cherry or plum tomatoes, rinsed, stems removed 12 whole cloves garlic, peels left on 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Coarse salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 pound orecchiette, cavatelli or medium shells 1/3 cup pasta cooking liquid 1 bunch arugula, washed, stems trimmed (about 1 cup packed), watercress or basil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, optional Grated Parmesan cheese Preheat oven to 400 degrees. …

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