…I’d bleed tomato juice. When I visit the farmer’s market I head straight for the heirlooms and never look back. I love them. I really, truly love them. I’m not sure I can remember a time when I didn’t. Since I was a wee child I could eat a tomato like it was an apple. I love them raw, cooked, drizzled with oil, sprinkled with salt…Did I mention I love them?
So, I had myself a few small heirlooms that were a day shy of a compost heap and decided to whip up a quick and easy dinner featuring my other pal, pasta. This was hard to share…
Roasted Heirloom Tomato & Olive Spaghetti
1 box spaghetti, cook as directed (for the love of Italy, salt your water)
1 C pasta water, reserved *
4-8 heirloom tomatoes, quartered – chopped if large
1/2 C kalamata olives, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 C marinated artichokes, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 400*. Bring large pot of water to boil. Place tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, and olives in an oven safe pan. Use an all-metal pan that can be used on both the stovetop and in the oven. Drizzle veggies with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Toss and place in oven.
Drop pasta in SALTED boiling water. A small palmful of salt for a large pot is about right. After about 7 minutes, check tomatoes. They should have released their juice, wilted and become soft. Remove pan from oven and place onto burner at medium high heat. Once pasta is cooked, which should be around the time you’ve removed your tomatoes, use a pasta spoon or tongs to move it directly from the pot to the pan of tomatoes. Add cup of pasta water. Toss frequently for about 1 minute. You can add 1/4 C of chicken stock here for a saucier pasta. Drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil. Remove from heat and add cheese. Toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Try to share.
* Pasta water (after pasta has cooked) is sort of a must whenever you’re making pasta sauces. It acts as a binder and a peacemaker. Full of starch and a bit of salt, it makes all of your flavors play nice together.