Yes, I know. Another tomato and pasta recipe. I just can’t help myself. Our garden is still giving us plenty of Sungold tomatoes (though, sadly, our tomatillo never produced), and I simply can’t resist fresh from the garden tomatoes any way I can get them. This is especially true when “any way I can get them” means “roasted and tossed with pasta.”
Roasted tomatoes are the jewels of summer. Sweet and caramelized, it’s a wonder they even make it from the baking sheet to anywhere but my mouth. So when I see a recipe that calls for roasting tomatoes, you can be certain it goes on my to-make list right away. Search the site and you’ll find no shortage of roasted tomato recipes. I’ve made this pasta several times over the summer, adding variations here and there, because it’s quick, easy and really delicious. I almost always have everything I need to make it, thanks to being able to go into the backyard to pick tomatoes and herbs, so it’s also great for nights that I have planned absolutely nothing for dinner. Lately, that’s happened more often than not.
This pasta is very simple in execution, but it’s one of those recipes where the ingredients really shine. I picked the thyme, basil and most of the tomatoes from our garden. This pasta really highlights all of them. It’s a cream sauce, yes, but it’s not heavy and doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. Another reason I love this recipe is how easy it is to change it up. Most recently, I added sausage and some extra cheese and then baked it (see the photo of that here). If you love summer tomatoes as much as I do, then make this before the season is up.
- YIELD: 4-6 servings
1½ pounds grape and/or cherry tomatoes, halved if large
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Leaves from 3 fresh thyme sprigs, divided
1 pound pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup heavy cream
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for topping
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Add the tomatoes and olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, then add the leaves from one sprig of thyme and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes burst and pucker.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.
In the now empty pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Scrape in the tomatoes and their juices. Add the cream and remaining thyme, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook until the cream has slightly thickened.
Remove from heat. Stir in the parmesan and basil. Add water if needed to loosen the sauce. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the sauce. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately, topping with extra parmesan.