For the last few weeks our CSA has had a bounty of Roma tomatoes - far more than two people could possibly eat. They were collecting and need to be eaten. I also had some ricotta in the fridge which needed to be used. I thought that perhaps I might find an interesting pasta recipe which combined the two and sure enough, Google directed me to one of my favourite food bloggers where I found this gem.
This recipe takes time - you slow roast the tomatoes (for far longer than the 40 minutes the recipe calls for) which really concentrates their flavour. Later you mix the slow roasted tomatoes with pasta, ricotta cheese and voila (look at me being all French) you have an amazing meal.
There were a couple of things I did differently. Our tomatoes were large so they required a full two hours of roasting! I think the time took longer as well because I had about 5 pounds of tomatoes in the oven - trying to use them all up. I froze the extra. I tossed the ricotta with the hot pasta - a technique we were shown during a cooking class in Italy. The ricotta melts from the heat of the pasta and makes a cheese sauce. The reserved pasta water helps to smooth out the sauce as well. I also added some chopped fresh basil to round out the flavours.
All in all, this was darn good!
Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Ricotta
1/2 kilo or 1 pound pasta
1 kilo or 2 pounds San Marzano Tomatoes
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil (approx)
freshly ground black or crushed red pepper (your choice)
2 tablespoons oregano
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
Wash the tomatoes and slice them in half, lengthwise.
Lightly oil two large baking sheets.
Lay the tomatoes on the sheet, side by side.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chopped garlic and oregano.
Drizzle liberally with olive oil.
Roast in the oven until cooked through and beautifully caramelized. About 40 minutes.
Take pan out of oven, and while still hot, add about a 1/3 cup of water to the pan with tomatoes. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape up all the bits that have stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan. This is flavor-packed and will add a huge boost to your sugo.
In the meantime, boil pasta in salted water and drain, reserving a half cup of the cooking water.
Toss pasta with the tomatoes and their liquid. Add a bit of pasta water if it seems dry.
Add the ricotta, or other cheese, a bit at a time, tossing to distribute. Top with a bit more cheese and serves