Rotini with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta
This technique is so easy and yields such delicious results that I hope you'll add it to your winter repertoire once you've tried it. It is now my favourite method for winter tomatoes. While you're puttering around your house this weekend, tuck a pan of tomatoes in the oven, come back 45 minutes later, and have a peak. They will add a whole new dimension of flavour to your pasta dishes!
Not only does slow-roasting concentrate and caramelize the intense flavour of cherry tomatoes, but it also gives them a meatier, more robust texture. The roasted tomatoes become versatile ingredients, perfect for tossing into pasta or salads, layering on sandwiches and crostini, or just using as a terrific side dish for grilled or roasted meats. They keep in the refrigerator for a week (or longer, I suppose, if you can manage not to eat them all first), and you can freeze them, too. A bonus is the lovely tomato-infused olive oil left over after roasting; drizzle it over grilled vegetables or on crusty bread, or use it in a vinaigrette.
The technique is simple: spread them in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and herbs, and coat generously in olive oil. Roast slowly until the tomatoes are a deep, rich brown and very collapsed. You can certainly use this method in the winter months on less-than-ripe tomatoes that you would otherwise use as ping pong balls. They will remind you of lost sun-kissed summer days, and they will have intense flavour after roasting. This simple dish has turned out to be one of my favourite winter dishes of all time!
**Rotini with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta**idea from Emeril Lagasse
1 pound red cherry tomatoes
1 pound yellow cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons slivered garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
1 pound whole wheat rotini pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces whole-milk farm ricotta, crumbled
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup Pecorino cheese (grated)
Additional fresh herbs, chopped for garnish
Hot French or Italian bread, accompaniment
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
In a large, glass baking dish, toss the tomatoes with the oil, garlic, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the basil, parsley, and oregano. Stir well.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, about 7 minutes according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Toss with the extra virgin olive oil. Add the tomatoes and pan juices and cook over low heat until hot, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the ricotta cheese and stir until mostly melted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Toss with the pine nuts and Pecorino cheese. Garnish with additional herbs, as desired, and serve immediately, with the Italian or French bread.
Serves 4 - 6
You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.