Monday, 8 September 2014

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Balsamic Pasta

This summer (as in past summers) I could easily be known as the Crazy Cherry Tomato Lady. This spring I bought a small cherry tomato plant at my favourite food store and planted it in my wee 10x15' kitchen garden.  I gave it a third of the space and thought that would be enough.

Apparently I don't learn from experience and my inability to judge space and time is still going strong.  This wee plant grew to over six feet tall and just as wide.  I had to help Brad hack off branches so he could mow the lawn beside my raised garden bed and prune it on the other side so it didn't totally shade my green peppers.  Ya, no one can say this girl can't grow tomatoes!

And that's not all!  Apparently there were a 'few' cherry tomatoes from last year that dropped and seeded themselves so not only did I have the tomato plant that looks like it is on steroids but I had no less than 4 other plants growing in amongst my rhubarb, green peppers and herbs and onions.  Wha!?!  With me being the only tomato loving person in our house I had to take drastic measures.  Ya, I put up a call on Facebook to give these little tomato plants good homes and I managed to pawn off a few of them so others can experience the joy of gargantuan growing.

I joke about it but having 2lbs of cherry tomatoes/week has been awesome!  My mother-in-law, parents and I have been inhaling these sweet beauties all summer.  You know that they're tasty when you pop no less than 15 in your mouth as you drive home from work each day! And now that my plant is starting to wither a bit I'm making the most out of its last crop.  I made this dish a couple of days ago for lunch and it was so good I was talking to myself and giving myself kudos (since the dog wasn't offering up any praise).

This is a super simple, not too time consuming, pasta dish that has a sweetness to it from the roasting of the tomatoes and my beloved balsamic.  The touch of fresh rosemary and fresh Parmesan top it off perfectly!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (and did a couple of days later when I made it for lunch again).

30 cherry tomatoes, cut length-wise in half
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 pinches of crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 spaghetti servings

freshly ground black pepper
fresh Parmesan cheese** or goat cheese

Yield: 2 servings

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.

Place cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, oil, rosemary, red pepper flakes and garlic into a bowl and toss until tomatoes are coated with oil.

Pour tomato mixture onto the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tomatoes have wrinkled a bit.  They should look like these little beauties ...

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package instructions.  Drain pasta and toss with a bit of oil (to keep the noodles from sticking to each other).  Pour tomato mixture (it's not a saucy mixture) over the pasta (making sure to get all the yummy liquid from the tomatoes and balsamic) and toss to coat. 

Top with freshly ground black pepper and fresh Parmesan cheese (or small dollops of goat cheese).  Serve immediately.

Note: This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if need be.

** I've never been a fan of the Parmesan in a can.  Grating real, fresh Parmesan makes a world of difference with any recipe.

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