Megan’s third post for our Recipes on the Blog just in time to share with family and friends for the holiday season.
If you have ever grown cherry or grape tomatoes, you know that they are prolific plants, giving you lots of tasty little treats. But as if often the case with growing tomatoes, we are often left with more than we can handle before they start to turn. Another issue with cherry tomatoes is that most tomato recipes call for their larger brethren. Making tomato sauce requires removing the skins from your tomatoes, and who wants to remove the skins from several dozen cherry tomatoes? I’d rather just eat them as is and call it day. Until now…
Below is a delicious tomato sauce recipe using cherry tomatoes with their skins on. The key to this recipe is roasting the tomatoes in the oven to the point where they begin to collapse and cook in their own juice. This allows the tomatoes to be crushed up later on and turned into a wonderful, chunky tomato sauce. I hope you enjoy.
*Note: This recipe does not call for onion, but I think sautéing a half a cup of chopped onion when you sauté the garlic really completes this recipe.
SPAGHETTI WITH BURST CHERRY TOMATOES
YIELD: Serves 4 to 6
4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (about 40 tomatoes)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to finish
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or a pinch dried (I also used some thyme and rosemary)
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly ground pepper
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a big pinch of salt and the sugar, and toss all the ingredients until the tomatoes are well coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Pour the tomatoes onto the baking sheet and roast them in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until they start to char and collapse. (Do keep an eye on them, as you don’t want to burn your tomatoes, but simply give them a good char.) Remove the tomatoes from the oven and set them aside to cool slightly. Once they have cooled somewhat, pour the tomatoes AND the juice back into the bowl.
Bring a pot of water to boil. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and, if you would like, the onion. Sauté them for about 1 minute.
Add roasted tomatoes with their juices and your herbs. Use a spoon to break up the tomatoes and cook until they are heated through. Once your water is boiling, add your pasta, and cook to your preference. Once cooked, drain the pasta, but reserve some of the water to be added later.
Add the pasta to the skillet, along with 1 tablespoon of the pasta water. Stir and toss to thoroughly coat the pasta. Add a tablespoon or so of pasta water until the sauce is at a consistency of your liking. Finally, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.