Is anyone sick of tomatoes yet? I’m certainly not, and our garden is still giving us plenty to use. I know this is the time of year where seemingly every food blog switches over to pumpkin recipes, but, as much as I love pumpkin, I’m not ready to go there yet. I’m holding onto summer and all of its plump tomatoes and sweet corn and more herbs than I know what to do with.
Summer dinners around here involve as little cooking as possible. There are a lot of nights we throw everything on the grill so that we don’t even have to turn on the oven. There are other nights, usually when it rains, that we cook inside but choose something that doesn’t involve a lot of active cooking time. That’s the case with this pasta.
Roasted tomatoes are one of my favorite foods ever. It’s a wonder that they even make it to whatever dish I’m putting them in because I have been known to sneak a few (or more) off the baking sheet soon after they come out of the oven. For this dish, the roasted tomatoes are combined with pasta that’s coated in a rich sauce of mascarpone, white wine and Parmesan, then the whole thing is topped with more cheese and baked. It’s a quick and simple dinner, and it’s perfect for this time of year.
- YIELD: 6 servings
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
4 cloves garlic, peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound shell (or other shape) pasta
1¼ cups mascarpone cheese
Pinch red pepper flakes
¼ cup dry white wine
2 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
¼ cup shredded fresh basil
This recipe is easily adaptable, and I think it would be great with any number of additions – spicy sausage, roasted red peppers, breadcrumbs for topping. Make it as is (which is quite delicious) or change it up based on what you’ve got on hand.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
Toss the tomatoes and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet, and roast until slightly plumped, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through the baking time. Once cool, remove the garlic cloves and mince.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, until just shy of al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
Transfer the pasta back to the pot. Add the mascarpone and stir until melted. Drizzle in the pasta water and stir until the sauce is thinned but not watery. Add the wine, red pepper flakes, garlic, tomatoes, half of the Parmesan and 3 tablespoons of the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Lightly grease 6 individual gratin dishes, or one 9×13 baking dish. Top the pasta with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pasta is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and top with remaining basil. Serve immediately.