Thursday, October 3, 2013

My apologies

I've got an A+ recipe for you here, buried in a C- blog post.


1. This recipe is best made in the season we just tip-toed out of*
2. The photos are bad**
3. General lack of ambition was displayed on my part***

Sorry about that!

*Still, I proceed - with all my fingers and toes crossed, in hopes that we'll find a few precious baskets of little tomatoes at the farmer's market this weekend so you can give this one a whirl. My mom is, after all, still pulling tomatoes out of her garden - some the size of pumpkins! - so maybe there's a chance. This baked tomato sauce cannot wait until next summer.

It's truly one of my favorites; a highlight of the summer for me. Little cherry tomatoes are topped with small handfuls of breadcrumbs and parmesan, then roasted in the oven until the topping toasts slightly and the tomatoes slump into their own juices. Then, you stir in some sliced basil and season with salt, and then stop and do nothing else but scoop it onto pasta - for it is perfect right there. It's simple cooking at its absolute finest.

**And now, to excuse the photos: I had a night to myself recently, and a goal to write and publish at least a B+ blog post before Adam got home from his happy hour. The plan was as follows: make this pasta sauce, take photos for the blog, have a nice dinner for one, then write a blog post in the gloriously quiet apartment. But then, there was that half bottle of wine leftover from the the night before beckoning to me from the corner of our empty kitchen, and Wheel of Fortune was on with no objections from the man who wants to watch watch SportsCenter. And the apartment was so gloriously quiet. So the night got away from me. Dinner happened closer to 8:30 when the sunlight was long gone, so the nice camera (re: food photography needs natural light) was out of the question. Enter the iPhone photos you see above.

***So, to summarize: please try out this pasta sauce, and sorry for everything.

Pasta with Baked Tomato Sauce
Found on The Wednesday Chef, originally from Best American Recipes 2000. I tweaked it slightly.

Few tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated or shredded parmesan
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Few pinches of salt
1 pound dried pasta
1/4-1/3 cup fresh basil, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the tomatoes in half, and set them cut side up in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan and garlic. Sprinkle over the tomatoes to coat.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are very soft and the topping is beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and stir in basil. Stir the mixture with a fork to smash up the tomatoes. Season well with salt; drizzle in another 1-2 tablespoons olive oil if the mixture seems too dry.

While the tomatoes are baking, cook the pasta until it's al dente. When it's ready, top the pasta with generous scoops of the sauce. Enjoy!

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