Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (16 medium), cut lengthwise in half
6 garlic cloves, not peeled
1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti or linguine
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush jelly-roll pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange tomatoes, cut side down, in pan; add garlic. Roast tomatoes and garlic until tomatoes are well browned and garlic has softened, 50 to 60 minutes.
2. When cool enough to handle, peel tomatoes over medium bowl to catch any juices. Place tomatoes in bowl; discard skins. Squeeze garlic to separate pulp from skins. Add garlic to tomatoes.
3. Meanwhile, in large saucepot, cook pasta as label directs. Drain.
4. With back of spoon, crush tomatoes and garlic. Stir in salt, pepper, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Serve sauce at room temperature or transfer to saucepan and heat through over low heat. In warm serving bowl, toss pasta with sauce. Serve with Pecorino, if you like. Makes 4 main-dish servings.
Oven-roasted tomatoes have a sweet, intense flavor that is hard to resist. They make a terrific pasta sauce. If you like, you can use 3 pints of whole grape tomatoes to replace the plum tomatoes; reduce the roasting time to 20 to 30 minutes. No need to peel!

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