Uncomplicated ingredients: check
After the ordeal I just put y’all through with that last post it seems only fair to now write about something easy and fast but unbelievably delicious.
Rosemary Roasted Tomatoes with Pasta and Fresh Mozzarella!
I’m so excited about this recipe I decided to tell it in sort of a “House that Jack Built” style.
Believe me. This recipe will make you smile. Watch!
(Look at those beautiful little flavor-bombs! I love grape and cherry tomatoes because they pack so much sweetness and juiciness into tiny little bite-sized balls. They tend to stay consistently flavorful year-round too, so they are a great way to indulge in a little summer sweetness even in the fall and winter. The fact that they come in these two gorgeous colors is also a bonus!)
Cherry tomatoes with rosemary.
(Rosemary is so rich and woodsy and really brings the light, ethereal flavor of the roasted tomatoes back down to earth. Which is where we want them. You can’t eat a tomato in space. Unless you are also in space. Never mind.
Rosemary also gives this recipe hefty flavor which makes it more satisfying.)
Cherry tomatoes with rosemary and olive oil.
(Yes. Use the good stuff. The extra-rich, extra-virgin, extra-flavorful stuff! When you are working with only a few ingredients why, you want each ingredient to pack as much flavor as possible!)
Cherry tomatoes with rosemary, olive oil, and flake-style kosher salt.
(I love kosher salt. The flakes stick to foods and flavor them without making them too salty. It’s also very mild and lacks that bitter after-tang that regular table salt can sometimes have. But if table salt is all you have, by all means use it. Just use maybe a little less of it.)
Cherry tomatoes with rosemary, olive oil, and flake-style kosher salt, all stirred up.
Get it all relatively evenly distributed.
Cherry tomatoes with rosemary, olive oil, and flake-style kosher salt after 20 minutes in a 425° oven and 5 minutes under the broiler.
(After this little treatment they will have burst and sizzled and caramelized and become an unbelievably rich, wonderful sauce. I turned the pan so the juices ran all over the bits that were burnt to the pan so they could deglaze it and pick up all that flavor. Give it all a very, very gentle stir to make sure all the flavor is loosened up and mixed in without completely mashing up the tomatoes.)
(I just happened to have some on hand that I’d made for a gathering which alas did not happen (more on that later). If I hadn’t had this roasted garlic on hand, I would have just sliced a couple of cloves of fresh garlic and tossed it with the tomatoes before roasting them.
To make roasted garlic, simply take two heads of garlic and lop off the top 1/3. Lay them on a square of tin foil and drizzle them generously with olive oil then sprinkle with salt. Wrap the whole mess up in the foil, set the package in a pie tin or baking dish (just in case the foil leaks) and roast at 350° for about an hour. I also laid a sprig of rosemary across the top of the heads for some extra flavor. The garlic is done when it is soft and fragrant and nutty and caramelized and wonderful.
Hungry yet? I am.)
Roasted garlic mashed with olive oil.
(It speaks for itself. It really does. I could eat this entire forkful in one bite and I wouldn’t regret it one bit.
My hubby might, though…)
Cherry tomatoes with rosemary, olive oil, and flake-style kosher salt, after 20 minutes in a 425° oven and 5 minutes under the broiler, with roasted garlic mashed with olive oil, and a pound of cooked rigatoni.
(Oh my. Bend your head over this pan and give yourself a littel rosemary-garlic-tomato steam facial. Inhale. Smile.)
Cherry tomatoes with rosemary, olive oil, flake-style kosher salt, after 20 minutes in a 425° oven and 5 minutes under the broiler, with roasted garlic mashed with olive oil, and a pound of cooked rigatoni, tossed with ½ pound fresh mozzarella pearls and a little more salt to taste.
And we all fall down.
You won’t even believe how flavorful this was. It completely knocked my socks off!
ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES WITH PASTA AND FRESH MOZZARELLA
Makes 4-6 servings
2 lbs. cherry or grape tomatoes, cleaned and patted completely dry (any water left on the tomatoes will make them steam instead of roasting and getting super-nutty and caramelized!)
1 head roasted garlic (or 2-3 large cloves fresh garlic, peeled and thinly sliced)
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
1 lb. pasta of choice (we really liked the rigatoni with it…it was hearty and picked up all that wonderful sauce perfectly.
3 sprigs fresh rosemary (or a generous sprinkling of dried rosemary…1 ½ tsp)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella (see note)
Pre heat oven to 425°
Toss tomatoes with olive oil, salt, whole rosemary stems, and sliced fresh garlic (if using). Roast for about 20 minutes or until the skins burst and begin to caramelize. If desired, broil on high for an additional 5 minutes to get extra caramelization. Remove the pan from the oven and tilt it so the juices can run all over and pick up any caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions.
If using roasted garlic, squeeze the cloves from the skins and mash the flesh with a few more tablespoons of olive oil.
Remove the large rosemary stems from the tomatoes.
Combine the cooked pasta, the tomatoes, the garlic and the fresh mozzarella. Toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Eat and be happy!
Note: I found some wonderful, tiny, fresh mozzarella pearls at our local market. f you don’t have these, a regular fresh mozzarella ball cut into ½” dice is also wonderful, or drain and quarter 8 oz of fresh mozzarella boccancini.
P.S. I may have cheated a little bit on The Project.
I know. I’m as horrified as you are. Please rest assured that it was entirely a mistake. Well, not entirely. But mostly.
Due to a sick call-out last week’s martini, olive and caper experience got pushed back yet another week to this Friday. That’s tomorrow. Well, long story short, today I met an old friend for lunch today and it turned out that my pizza had capers on it, and my salad had kalamata olives in it. And, well, I hated to sit there picking apart my food in front of said friend (who probably already thinks I’m wierd enough already!) so, you know, I went ahead and ate them!
I am ashamed.
And my apologies to my faithful Project friends and supporters.
But I promise not to tell you what I thought of them until tomorrow, in any case!
Ahem. I’ll see you then. Please forgive me.