I’ve talked about them before, and I’m going to talk about them again.
Because I love me some tomatoes!
A few weeks ago,I came across instructions for roasting tomatoes (from Jane Maynard at This Week for Dinner) and discovered my love affair with this cheery red fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) could actually reach a new level. Tomatoes — raw or cooked into recipes — are delicious, but when roasted . . . . mmmmmmmm. Definitely my new preferred way to prepare a tomato.
The only problem with the Jane’s instructions for roasting is that the process requires 2-6 HOURS. Yes . . . hours, people.
I don’t mind putting something in the crock-pot for that long, but leaving my oven on for that amount of time makes me nervous. So, instead of cutting up Roma Tomatoes for my second roasting experience, I decided to go rogue and use a bag of “on the vine” little tomatoes. (I can’t remember the actual variety — they were a little bigger than grape tomatoes.)
Once roasted, I turned those little gems, along with a can of Hunt’s Petite Diced Tomatoes* and Tomato Sauce*, into my new favorite pasta sauce. I truly believe this tangy ode to the roasted tomato is what marks me as a genius.
Roasted Tomato and Artichoke Pasta
- 20-30 Roasted Tomatoes (see instructions below)
- 1 (14.8 oz) can of Quartered Artichokes (unmarinated and drained)
- 1 can Hunt’s Petite Diced Tomatoes*
- 1 can Hunt’s Tomato Sauce (I use the “no-salt” variety)*
- 1 Shallot (chopped)
- 3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Dried Basil
- 1/2 tsp of Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Ground Oregano
- 1 T of Olive Oil
Roast your tomatoes — you can either follow Jane’s method or follow my short-cut (see below). You’re call . . .I’ll give you the power to choose (I’m nice like that).
While they’re roasting, saute the minced garlic and chopped shallot in the olive oil till they begin to soften (don’t let the garlic burn!).
Add the drained artichoke quarters and the entire can of diced tomatoes to the pan, and then stir in your salt/pepper and dried spices, letting it all simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce and let the mixture simmer — after a few minutes, taste your saucy concoction and add more spices to suit your palette. I ended up adding more basil and pepper. (after tomatoes, I love me some basil!)
After you have removed your roasted tomatoes from the oven, puree them and add the creamy puree to your simmering sauce.
Taste it again and if your tongue screams, “YES,” then your sauce if finished. If not, adjust the spices to suit you — if you find it too tangy/tomatoey, add a bit of sugar to sweeten it.
Serve over a sturdy pasta — I used whole wheat penne.
The Cheater’s Rachel’s Guide to Roasting Tomatoes
- After washing your grape or other small variety tomato, cut each tomato in half. (I used 20-30 tomatoes)
- Place each tomato half on a foil lined baking sheet, cut side up.
- Brush lightly with olive oil.
- Sprinkle cracked black pepper and sea salt over the tomatoes.
- Roast in a 400 degree oven until the tomatoes begin to shrivel and get that nice blackened, roasted color. (took about 20 minutes in my oven)
- Remove from the oven and do with them what you will. For my pasta dish, I pureed them with my handy-dandy Magic Bullet.
*Disclosure: this post was originally published as part of a Back To School Meal program by HEB and ConAgra; I was compensated for my recipe creations and posts.