This recipe hails from RIalto restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I happened upon it by way of The Tomato Festival Cookbook. For an heirloom tomato lover like me, this cookbook is filled with delicious possibilities. It includes everything imaginable from cold salads to chocolate cakes that incorporate green tomatoes that simply won’t have enough time to ripen on the vine.
While we enjoy many recipes from or inspired by this cookbook, Chef Jody Adams’ recipe for roasted spaghetti is our absolute favorite. The dish has a wonderfully rich flavor that we look forward to all year long. The tomatoes take on a sweet earthiness after their time roasting in the oven which pairs perfectly with the arugula, onion, and basil. This dish is also beautiful, a real showstopper.
I love to tinker with recipes, adding a little of this or taking away a little of that. I am especially prone to doing so with pasta recipes, making alterations that tailor the finished dish to my family’s taste. This dish is so perfect that I have made very few changes. I didn’t need to. It’s perfectly delicious just the way it is written and sure to impress and delight everyone gathered around your table at dinnertime.
Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomato Spaghetti
Adapted from Spaghetti with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan Cheese
in The Tomato Festival Cookbook
Serves 4 as a main course
I have made very few changes to the original recipe. I find that our homegrown heirloom tomatoes don’t need the sugar called for in the original recipe, but you can certainly add it to your tomatoes if you feel that they could use a little hint of sweetness. I have also found that I can roast the tomatoes at a higher temperature than called for, reducing the cooking time by more than half with the same results. After a long day of working on the farm, I opt for getting dinner on the table in an hour instead of the three that the original recipe promises.
2 ounces olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 – 20 basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds ripe cherry tomatoes, rinsed and dried
2 ounces olive oil
2 teaspoons Sugar (optional)
1 pound spaghetti
2 cups (3.5 ounces) arugula
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat two ounces (1/4 cup) of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat and add the basil leaves and red pepper flakes.
Add the cherry tomatoes to an oven safe casserole dish that can hold them in a single layer. If you are using the sugar, add two teaspoons and toss the tomatoes to coat. Using a large spoon, transfer the onion olive oil mixture to the dish, placing on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt. Gently add the remaining 2 ounces (1/4 cup) olive oil to the sides and transfer the pan to the warm oven. Roast until the tomatoes have softened and the skins are slightly charred, approximately 45 – 60 minutes.
Near the end of the roasting time, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous teaspoon of salt to the water and return to a rapid boil. Add the spaghetti to the pot and cook until al dente according to the package instructions.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven. Add the cooked pasta and arugula to the tomatoes and toss to fully combine and coat the spaghetti with the tomato infused olive oil. Serve immediately garnished with Parmesan cheese.
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