Roasted Tomato Tagliatelle
I cannot remember a Waitangi Day with weather quite this nice in a long time, and that's saying something considering the weather I've been grumbling about all summer. But at last the sun has finally come out, and I am trying desperately to get my share out of those late-summer eats.
Already, the plums which manage to find their way across the neighbour's fence into our garden have disappeared. And before the cherries, apricots, tomatoes and zucchini start disappearing from the Sunday markets, there are a few things I seriously need to cook, to get the cravings out of my system for another year. This Sunday, with the late summer's afternoon sun gracing our deck, we ate slow roasted tomato tagiatelle with thyme, and laden with parmesan. And it was amazing.
Firstly, you start with the ripest, most delicious summer tomatoes. Nothing else will do, lest it end up watery and bland. The tomatoes are halved or quartered, and roasted in a very slow oven with balsamic drizzle, oil, thyme, salt and pepper, for two hours, until they are semi-dried and bursting with intensified tomato sweetness, with a little tang from the balsamic. These, might I add, are delicious as part of an antipasto, tossed into almost any salad, or even on toast with some parmesan grilled over the top.
However, today I tossed these tomatoes into some freshly made tagiatelle, with a little fried garlic and grated parmesan all over. Just the thought of this makes me salivate once more.
Roasted Tomato Tagliatelle
- A whole lot of super ripe summer tomatoes - I used about 4 plum tomatoes, 6 little cocktail tomatoes, and 1c cherry tomatoes
- 2T balsamic drizzle or 3T balsamic vinegar mixed with a little sugar
- 2T oil
- Small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 300g fresh tagliatelle
- 50g grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
Turn your oven on to 130C. Yes, that's low. These tomatoes are going to roast for quite some time.
Next, chop your tomatoes up. I sliced the plum tomatoes into quarters, the smaller cocktail tomatoes into halves, and left the cherry tomatoes whole. Place only the large tomatoes into a baking dish at this stage - we'll add the smaller tomatoes later. Drizzle with the balsamic drizzle, oil, and sprinkle with thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Pop in the oven and roast for about an hour.
When the hour's up, add the cocktail tomatoes. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper, and pop the baking dish into the oven for another half an hour.
Once that half hour's up, add the cherry tomatoes, and put back into the oven for the final half hour. By doing this, each size of tomatoes will roast down deliciously, without drying out. At this stage, you'll want to get a big pot of boiling water on the boil.
With 5 minutes to go, gently sautee the garlic until golden and delicious. Pull off the heat just before it looks golden enough (it will continue to cook in the hot oil off the heat). Put the fresh pasta into the boiling water, and cook for 3 minutes, or al dente.
When the tomatoes are done, add them and their roasting juices to the and garlic, reserving one or two per person for garnish. Drain the pasta and add to the pan. Grate over a little parmesan and some fresh thyme, and toss to combine, squishing the tomatoes just a little bit to bring out their flavour.
Dish the pasta out onto 4 serving dishes. Top each with one or two of the reserved tomatoes, a little thyme or basil, and some more parmesan. Add a touch of cracked pepper on the top to finish.