Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fresh and/or Roasted Tomato Cappellini

I have tomatoes! This year’s rainy spring and late frost pushed my tomatoes back by about 3 weeks and I have been anxiously waiting and watching for them to ripen. Why? Because there is nothing better than a fresh tomato eaten straight from the garden. Or on a sandwich with crispy lettuce, or with my favorite pesto on pasta. Or…or…or…I could go on forever.

However, eventually there comes a time at the end of summer (not yet…), when all the tomatoes seem to ripen at the same time and I’m inundated with way too many.

And a sandwich doesn’t sound good…

And I don’t feel ambitious enough to can them…

And I’m tired of salad, and I don’t feel like making sauce…

And I’m thinking I planted way too many plants, and next year I’ll remember this and do better.

What exactly do you do with all those cherry tomatoes anyway?

You make Cappellini, and invite your friends or family for dinner.

This recipe chases all my grumpies away… It uses lots of tomatoes. It is very easy to make, feeds lots of people, and is a great recipe for use with both fresh and/or roasted tomatoes. Roasting the cherry tomatoes caramelizes the sugars and gives a delightful smoky flavor to the pasta. Fresh tomatoes give a sweet lemony flavor. Try this dish both ways and then mix the roasted and fresh for an entirely different flavor. Each way is unique and equally wonderful.

Best of all, when I make this…and close my eyes to appreciate the flavors of tomato, garlic, and basil…I fall in love all over again.

And I vow to plant just as many plants, if not more, next year.

Fresh and/or Roasted Tomato Cappellini
Serves 6-8
(as always...amounts in recipes are approximate...feel free to be creative)

1 medium onion—minced
4-5 cloves garlic—minced fine or crushed
1-2 Tbs olive oil, plus more if roasting tomatoes
4-6 cups fresh tomatoes—diced or if using cherry tomatoes, roasted
½ cup fresh basil—chiffonade
2 Tbs fresh parsley—minced
1-2 Tbs balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (see note below)
¼ - ½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup freshly grated parmesan and or Romano cheese
1 lb angel hair pasta—cooked al dente
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Cook pasta as per directions on package

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Add fresh or roasted tomatoes and cook over medium heat for an additional 5-10 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, parsley, and basil and stir to wilt herbs (about 1 minute). Salt and pepper to taste. Toss with pasta and add cheese. Serve immediately.

For Roasting: Place tomatoes on parchment or no-stick tinfoil. Drizzle olive oil over and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in 450 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they look like the picture below.

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil.

Add roasted tomatoes...

Alway use fresh herbs if possible...

This batch we mixed the roasted tomatoes with fresh. Toss with pasta...yum!

A note about tomatoes: There are many varieties of heirloom tomatoes available in home gardens and farmers markets and I encourage you to try them all. Yellow varieties have a wonderful citrus flavor that is not to be missed. When we make this recipe with fresh and especially the yellow varieties, we use lemon juice instead of balsamic vinegar for the brightness of flavors it yields. With the roasted tomatoes, balsamic vinegar seems to yield the better dish. Play around and let me know what works for you.


  1. I am hungry just looking at this recipe and I just ate! Yum Oh!

  2. There is nothing better than homegrown tomatoes. And that's all I have to say about that.

    Except that I'm drooling. Theresa

  3. I made this last night and it is as good as it looks. Thanks


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