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Pasta and Rice Cook's Illustrated
Tomato 7/23/2013

PASTA WITH CHERRY TOMATOES

Submitted by: Glenn Silloway

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Servings: 4 - or thereabouts

Comments:
We generally like Cook's recipes because ordinary cooks like us can get good results with them. The nice thing is that there's always a technique or two that account for the success, so you learn something as you cook.

In this recipe, in all its variations, the simple trick is that you bake your perfect summer cherry or grape tomatoes to a just-right state, and you have an easy pasta sauce. Very little work, but it is really tasty!

We are listing two variations on this recipe in the single boxes below, so be careful to note what goes into each.

Ingredients:

Basic Ingredients in Both Recipes

cup olive oil
3 pints cherry tomatoes (about 2 pounds), each halved pole to pole
teaspoon salt
to teaspoon red pepper flakes (less in penne, more in spaghetti)
teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoons sugar, or to taste (less if your tomatoes are really sweet)
3 large garlic cloves, sliced thin

Penne with Cherry Toms, Garlic and Basil

1 medium shallot sliced thin
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 pound penne
cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 ounces (about 1 cup) grated Parmesan cheese

Spaghetti with Cherry Toms, Olives, Capers and Pine Nuts

cup drained capers (small capers better)
1 pound spaghetti
cup chopped Kalamata olives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
cup toasted pine nuts
2 ounces (about 1 cup) grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions:

Penne with Cherry Toms, Garlic and Basil

Heat oven to 350 with rack in the middle.

Combine tomatoes, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and vinegar in a medium bowl. Spread mixture on a flat pan in a single layer. Scatter shallots over tomatoes. Bake until the shallots begin to brown and edges of tomatoes are shriveled, about 35 to 40 minutes. Do NOT overcook -- you want the toms to retain their shape a bit. Remove from over and allow to cool 5 or 10 minutes

While the toms are baking, prepare the pasta. When toms have cooled a bit, add them to the drained pasta. Blend the basil into the mixture. Serve in bowls topped with cheese.

Spaghetti with Cherry Toms, Olives, Capers, and Pine Nuts

Heat oven to 350.

Combine tomatoes, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and capers in a medium bowl. Spread mixture on a flat pan in a single layer. Bake until the edges of tomatoes are shriveled, about 35 to 40 minutes. Do NOT overcook -- you want the toms to retain their shape a bit. Remove from over and allow to cool 5 or 10 minutes

While the toms are baking, prepare the pasta. When toms have cooled a bit, add them to the drained pasta. Blend the olives and oregano into the mixture. Serve in bowls topped with pine nuts and cheese.

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