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Slow-roasted tomatoes (Recipe: pasta salad with shrimp, feta, basil and slow-roasted tomatoes)


There was a perfect storm in my pantry a couple of weeks ago, a moment when the very best of the fridge, freezer, garden and cupboards presented themselves all at once.

I found the last of last summer's slow-roasted tomatoes in the freezer along with a few large shrimp, and a bit of locally produced feta in the cheese bin. The basil in my garden was ready for its first pinch-back, and a box of pasta, the twisty kind I like best, sat on the shelf.

There's nothing better than going into the pantry and coming out with ingredients that make a meal.

Everything was perfect. Everything, except for the black blob that suddenly appeared deep inside my camera when I went to photograph this oh-so-perfect pasta salad for you.

I took photos with my point-and-shoot, drove my camera to the hospital, and set out to make this dish again.

No more perfect storm, though. For one thing, I'd used up the tomatoes. I made the recipe twice more, with sun-dried tomatoes from the market (good, but not as good as the original). By the second try, I'd run out of feta, too.

So, please do what I'm doing this weekend. Go to the farmers market, or to your garden, and buy five pounds of ripe tomatoes. Slow roast them (I'll tell you how), and pack them for the freezer. Then make another batch, because once you taste them, you'll never buy sun-dried tomatoes again.

What are slow-roasted tomatoes?
Fresh tomatoes that have been cooked in the oven at very low temperature for a long period of time. Use them in place of sun-dried tomatoes in any recipe. Here's how I make them.

How/where to store:
In the refrigerator, covered with olive oil in a container with a tight-fitting lid, for up to one week; in the freezer, in a ziploc bag, for one year.

More facts about slow-roasted tomatoes, and ingredient photos, in The Perfect Pantry:
Slow-roasted tomatoes (Recipe: goat cheese and basil bruschetta)


Pasta salad with shrimp, feta, basil and slow-roasted tomatoes

Having all of the ingredients in the pantry makes this a quick and delicious worknight dinner and picnic or potluck favorite. It's also a beautiful salad; my photos do not do it justice. Serves 4 as a main dish.


1/2 lb twisty pasta (rotini and cellentani are my favorites)
3/4 lb large (26-30 size) shrimp, shell on, uncooked, defrosted
1/2 cup slow-roasted tomatoes, chopped, with their oil
8-12 large basil leaves, roughly torn, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tsp olive oil, or more as needed
Fresh black pepper, to taste


Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again, and place in a large bowl.

Place the shrimp in a small pot, add two inches of water, and cover. Set the pot over high heat until the water comes to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook just until the shrimp turn pink (do not overcook). Remove from heat, drain the shrimp in a colander, and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Peel the shrimp and add to the pasta.

Add tomatoes, basil and feta to the pasta, and stir to combine. Add olive oil and black pepper, and stir again.

Serve at room temperature; can be refrigerated for two days. If you make this ahead, bring it to room temperature before serving.

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Chicken paella with slow-roasted tomatoes
Slow-roasted tomato mac and cheese
Corn, bean and two-tomato salad
Pasta with slow-roasted tomatoes

Other recipes that use slow-roasted tomatoes:
Slow-roasted tomato hummus, from Andrea Meyers
Pasta salad with slow-roasted tomatoes, grilled zucchini and basil, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow-roasted tomato soup, from A Veggie Venture
Cheese tortellini with spinach and slow-roasted tomatoes, from Two Peas and Their Pod
Creamy eggplant tarts with slow roasted tomatoes, from Pittsburgh Needs Eated

Need more ideas for how to create salads with pizzazz? Get Dress Up Your Salad, my e-book packed with easy mix-and-match recipes, full-color photos and a few fun videos. Exciting salad recipes from everyday ingredients can be just one click away, on any computer, tablet or smart phone, with the FREE Kindle Reading app. Click here to learn more.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I have been kicking myself for not roasting some of my tomatoes last year. That mistake will not be made again. What a wonderful dish to emerge from your pantry.

The stars sure did align, didn't they? Sorry to hear about your camera, though - hope it can be fixed. I'd love to slow-roast some tomatoes this year - what a treat to later discover in the freezer!

I love that homemade slow-roasted tomatoes are part of your perfect pantry! I'm still enjoying my tomatoes from last summer too. Though, it's going to be a few more weeks before this season's tomatoes kick in for me.

HEAVENLY looking! Thankfully I just finished breakfast! Your original slow roasted tomatoes posting is how I discovered you - the one and only time I made them my husband and I devoured them immediately like candy with none left for the freezer. When this heat wave breaks I may fire up the oven again!

I'm hoping to make slow roasted tomatoes this year from the two roma tomato plants I have that are loaded with tomatoes. This sounds like a perfect summer salad, but I bet it would taste good in the winter too if you had some of those tomatoes in the freezer.

Love that pasta shape sweet shrimp against briny & tart Feta work really well.

Cookin' Canuck, every summer I think I've made enough to get through the year, and I just find I'm using them more and more and keep running short. This year I'm planning to freeze 20 pounds!

Kathy, the camera is fixed, blob gone, and as soon as I have basil and tomatoes I'll photograph this dish again. The combination of flavors is delicious.

Julia, I stopped buying sun-dried tomatoes when I started making my own slow-roasted ones. They are always in my pantry... until I use them up.

Carol, it's worth heating the kitchen to make a few batches of these when you see great plum tomatoes at the farm stand.

Kalyn, this would be a year-round salad with tomatoes from the freezer and parsley instead of basil.

Peter, I love this pasta shape, too. I eat it with chopsticks!

Roasting your tomatoes intesifies the flavour so that you will always have summer close at hand.

The photo looks delicious... if it did the dish any more "justice" I would have to eat my computer screen. What a versatile dish and great use of those roasted tomatoes!

So perfect, and such great timing too! I've had a hankering for pasta salads as of late (must be a summer thing). You've convinced me, Lydia, slow-roasted tomatoes in place of sun-dried. Can't wait to experiment!

Bellini Valli, you're absolutely right.

Countrygirl, thanks for seeing past the photos. This is a truly gorgeous and delicious pasta dish.

Sandie, you will get hooked in these tomatoes, especially if you have thyme and garlic in your garden.

I'm one of the strange ones - I have never liked sun-dried tomatoes. I avoid them like the plague and pick them out of everything they get into. Oven-roasted, on the other hand.... sublime. As is the shrimp, feta and basil.... Oregano (fresh, of course) would be good, too!
I have high hopes for my tomatoes, this year... I have lots of green ones...

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