Oven-roasting tomatoes with garlic and herbs boosts the flavor in this meatless sauce.
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil, divided
6 large tomatoes (about 3 1/2 pounds), cored, cut in half crosswise, and seeded
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 1/2 cups hot cooked long fusilli (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Basil sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Brush a jelly roll pan or shallow roasting pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer, cut sides down, in pan. Arrange crushed garlic around tomatoes; sprinkle tomatoes with thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Bake at 400° for 30 minutes; drain juices from pan. Bake an additional 30 minutes. Remove tomatoes from pan; cool slightly. Discard juice and crushed garlic. Peel and coarsely chop tomatoes.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add chopped garlic, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chopped tomatoes and basil, and cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add pasta, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese; garnish with basil sprigs, if desired.
I love this dish. It has such great flavor and uses simple ingredients. I get excited when I have a ton of tomatoes in the summer so that I can make this. I use my romas and roast an entire cookie sheet of them. Make sure you use the correct # of pounds instead of the # of tomatoes. 6 or 7 romas will not equal the 3 1/2 pounds of tomatoes called for in the recipe. I've used dried basil and it still turns out great.
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