Your eyes aren’t tricking you, these are not zucchini noodles. As much as I love non-noodle noodles, some nights just call for a big bowl of pasta. Especially when I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with and a basil plant that is finally flourishing.
Slow roasting tomatoes is, well, slow. But it’s entirely hands-off and you really can’t mess it up. I find roasting to be an easy fix for my tomatoes that aren’t so perfect – you know, the ones that are sadly not that sweet. Eight or so hours later, they’re shriveled up little sugar bombs ready to be tossed into the most simple summer pasta.
- 8-10 roma tomatoes (or a few cups of cherry tomatoes)
- drizzle of olive oil
- salt & pepper
- fresh thyme sprigs
- 1lb pasta (use brown rice pasta if gluten free)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- a good amount of olive oil (1/4 cup or so)
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste (omit if vegetarian, add extra salt as needed)
- fresh lemon juice & zest
- a few tablespoons of capers
- toasted pine nuts
- tons of fresh basil
- pinches of red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper, to taste
- pecorino or parmesan cheese, optional
- Slice tomatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast the tomatoes in approx a 200 degree oven. Add fresh thyme leaves near the very end. (so they don't burn). Roasting time will vary depending on the size of your tomatoes. I generally roast cherry tomatoes for 2-4 hours, and roma tomatoes (pictured), for 6-8. (See notes)
- Cook your pasta in salty water until a little less cooked than al dente, reserving some of the pasta water.
- In a large skillet, heat enough olive oil so it coats the bottom of the pan. When the oil is just barely simmering, and add the garlic and anchovy paste. Heat until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the pasta and toss, adding some pasta water as needed. Add a few pinches of salt & pepper and continue to cook the pasta in the skillet until the pasta is perfectly al dente. (about 2 minutes more).
- Remove from heat, add a few big squeezes of lemon, some zest, and stir in capers, pine nuts, red pepper flakes, fresh basil, salt, pepper and the tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Add more olive oil, salt, pepper, and grated parmesan cheese, to taste.
I realize this is a long time - the nice thing is that you can't really burn them in this low of heat, so you can let them go without watching them too closely. If you need them to roast quicker, turn the heat up a little more.
They're done when they're entirely dried out. (you can store them in a jar filled with olive oil). But feel free to take them out while they're still a little juicy and toss them directly onto your pasta.
tip: if I'm not going to be home for 8 straight hours, I turn the oven off (leave the oven door shut) and just turn it back on whenever I come back.