Summer and the fresh produce it brings to the market means a wide range of new possibilities in the kitchen, but even when there’s so much to choose from – and sometimes especially when it’s so hot – we all can get lazy. And when I get lazy, I cook pasta. Usually pasta with tomato sauce.
But if you’re sick of cooking up the same old marinara (or if you don’t know how to cook up any marinara), this pasta with roasted tomatoes is for you. Props to Mark Bittman and How to Cook Everything for the suggestion.
This one really couldn’t be easier. You have to turn on the oven, which can be unappealing when the mercury is rising, but the unattended roasting means you can spend a fair bit of the prep time in a different, cooler room.
Here’s how it’s done:
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Boil water for pasta. (When it’s ready, cook pasta as normal, then drain, reserving a cup of the water)
3. Dump a bunch of tomatoes in a pan. You can use fresh tomatoes if they’re available (and good!), but whole peeled tomatoes from a can are great – just drain them first. Use the juice to make a bloody mary.
4. Toss 5 or 6 or 15 cloves of unpeeled garlic in the same pan.
5. Roast the tomatoes and garlic for 20-30 minutes. The tomatoes can go longer if they look like they need it, but don’t overroast the garlic.
6. Cut the ends of the roasted garlic cloves and squeeze the contents out into a bowl. Mash with a bit of salt.
7. Combine the pasta, mashed garlic, and tomatoes. Toss. Add olive oil and a bit of the pasta water to thin things out.
8. Grate in parmesan cheese.
9. Grate in more parmesan cheese.
10. Throw away. Or eat. Whatever.