Have you ever been in the situation where you have people coming over for dinner and you have no idea what to cook? A friend came to me with that problem the other day. She was having her husband’s boss over for dinner, and didn’t want to spend the whole time in the kitchen, but wanted to cook something easy, delicious and unique. It sounded like an emergency so I gave her my “Go-To” recipe.
I’ve had some requests to share it on my blog after I mentioned it in my “Best Food Combinations” post, so here it is. Unfortunately, now that my secret’s out, the next time you come over for dinner you’ll know what we’re having!
Lauren’s “Go-To” Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta
-One package of whole wheat spaghetti or penne (sometimes we use fresh whole wheat pasta as a treat)
-½ cup of fresh basil julienned
-¾ cup of crumbled goat cheese
-¼ cup of sliced kalamata olives or sun-dried tomatoes
TIP: prep the toppings before your guests come, and split into 4 portions so you can easily dress each plate
For the sauce:
-1 500g pint of organic cherry tomatoes or fresh from the garden (slice each tomato in half)
-1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
-3 tbsp of olive oil
-4 garlic cloves, sliced
-2 tsp red pepper flakes (this makes it quite spicy, so you can adjust according to your taste)
-½ tsp of salt
-Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a medium size bowl combine all the ingredients required for the sauce and mix together well.
TIP: this can be done ahead of time and set aside until your guests arrive. Pop it in the oven when you’re about 30 minutes from eating.
Pour mixture onto a baking sheet and line with silpat (avoid using foil – research has shown that exposure to aluminum can cause Alheizmers) and roast in the oven for 25 minutes (warning: roasting tomatoes smells incredible)
While tomatoes are roasting, fill a large pot with water for the pasta and salt well (about 1 tbsp)
When tomatoes have about 15 minutes left on the clock, start boiling the pasta water. Once water is boiling, cook pasta for about 8 minutes for al dente (almost cooked). This should allow you to time everything perfectly, and look like a rock star in front of your guests.
When your pasta is done, transfer into a large bowl and add in the roasted tomatoes. Toss everything together and distribute onto your plates. Add your prepped toppings (cheese, olives & basil) to each plate and serve.
I’ve made this recipe many times so I have quite a few variations; sometimes I add sautéed mushrooms & shrimp, hot Italian sausage (nitrite-free of course) or pecorino romano cheese. Enjoy!