When tomatoes peak in the late summer, you will not find me at the farm, buying bushels of Rutgers or Big Boys or Brandywines or Box Cars. You will not find me in the kitchen processing quarts and quarts of stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato purée, enough to feed a small village through the winter. I am not that girl. However, I do crave summer tomatoes all year long, and to be sure I get my fix, I slow-roast lots of plum tomatoes and stash them in the freezer. When I run out, as I often do, I slow-roast in the winter, too.
Slow-roasted tomatoes take the place of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes in any recipe, at a fraction of the cost. I make some plain, seasoned only with salt, pepper and olive oil; I make more flavored with garlic and thyme from my garden. I pack them, with the oil they cooked in (imagine how good that olive oil gets when it's roasted with garlic and tomato juices), and freeze them to use throughout the winter.
However, I love tomatoes in all forms, and I couldn't get through the year without good quality canned tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and occasionally (eek!) an out-of-season fresh tomato. If you feel the way I do, you're going to love my brand new e-cookbook, 25 Tomatoes: Easy year-long recipes using fresh, canned, roasted and sun-dried tomatoes.
The fifth book in my series of single-subject e-cookbooks, 25 Tomatoes features full-color photos, links to lots of recipes for tomato lovers, and another (headless) video on how to slow-roast tomatoes at home. Together with 23 Zucchini and Dress Up Your Salad, this book will see you through the August farmstand season.
Pasta with slow-roasted tomatoes, basil and olives
From the pantry, you'll need: garlic, thyme leaves, sea salt, fresh black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, twisty pasta, black olives, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
You won't find this recipe in 25 Tomatoes, but you will find a video link that shows you how to prepare and roast the tomatoes. Serves 4; makes extra tomatoes to stash in the freezer.
For the slow-roasted tomatoes:
5 lbs roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
4-5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Sea salt and fresh black pepper
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
For the pasta:
1 lb pasta of your choice, cooked according to package directions
1-1/2 cups roasted tomatoes, chopped, with a bit of the oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2-3 Tbsp mild black olives, chopped
Fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, to taste
First, make the tomatoes (if you have slow-roasted tomatoes in your refrigerator or freezer, skip this step):
Preheat your oven to 200°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Arrange the tomatoes cut side up on the pan. Slice 4-5 cloves of garlic, and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Strip several sprigs of fresh thyme, and sprinkle the leaves over the tomatoes. Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil liberally over all of the tomatoes. Place in the oven for 9-10 hours; the tomatoes will collapse, but not completely dry out. Pack into a freezeable container, and pour the oil from the pan over the top.
To finish the pasta dish, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss in the tomatoes, basil and olives. Add cheese, as much as you like.
More slow-roasted tomato goodness:
Quick and easy slow-roasted tomato, mozzarella, pine nut and basil flatbread pizza
Farro and kale salad with white beans and slow-roasted tomato
Two-tomato bread salad with roasted garlic dressing
Marinated mozzarella with garlic and slow-roasted tomatoes
Corn, bean and two-tomato salad
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
One-pot 30-minute creamy tomato basil pasta bake, from Half Baked Harvest
Pasta with tomato, spinach, basil, and brie, from Simply Recipes
Chunky pasta sauce recipe with sausage, roasted tomatoes, garlic, and basil, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sun-dried tomato pasta salad, from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Pasta with shrimp, tomatoes, garlic, lemon, and basil, from For the Love of Cooking
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