Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta

The challenging question about a kitchen garden is “What to do with all that produce which comes in all at once?”

I planted 5 tomato plants. Two plants are cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes a wonderfully sweet and a bonus is they ripen early. We have been enjoying them for weeks, while the other tomatoes are taking their time to ripen. Yesterday, I harvested 7 cups of cherry tomatoes. YIKES…from two plants!

I made Chickpea-Cucumber-Tomato Salad for lunch, but, I still had oodles of cherry tomatoes sitting on my counter. Jane, my next-door-neighbor, has had a veggie garden for years. She has a treasure chest of recipes for the bounty of garden produce. She gave me this recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. I of course slightly tweaked it.

This is surprisingly sweet. So tasty, that I think I’ll also use it as a bruschetta topping.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta

Pictured: I used rice shell pasta, but penne pasta or other pasta will work as well.

You’ll Need:
6 cups cherry tomatoes (about 2 pounds), halved
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces penne pasta (or other pasta)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup shredded fresh basil

Method:
1. Place the oven rack in the middle position. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Toss the halved tomatoes with the sliced shallot, oil, vinegar, garlic, red pepper, salt and pepper.
3. Spread the tomatoes out in a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the tomato skins have shriveled slightly, but the tomatoes still retain their shape. The shallot edges should be slightly brown. This will take between 30 and 40 minutes. Do not stir during roasting.
4. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain, but reserve ¼ cup of cooking water to add back to the pasta.
5. Add the tomatoes into the pasta pot with the drained pasta. Add the Parmesan cheese and basil. Toss gently to combine. Add the reserved cooking water and basil.

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