You haven’t lived until you’ve slow roasted a tomato. This simple method unlocks the deepest possible flavour from just about any tomato. A long slow roast surrounded by lots of aromatic flavours easily melts whole baby tomatoes into a tasty sauce for your favourite pasta that more than fills Half Your Plate!
Yield: SERVES 4 TO 6
2 pounds of grape tomatoes
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 head of garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 or 2 tablespoons (15 – 30 mL) of olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of dried oregano, thyme, or rosemary
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
1 pound of your favourite pasta
1 small 5-ounce tote of baby spinach, arugula, chard or kale
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and turn on your convection fan if you have one.
Toss the tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper together. Pile the works into a 9×13 baking dish and roast, stirring every 20 minutes or so until deliciously caramelized and fragrant, about an hour.
Towards the end of the hour, cook off a box of your favourite pasta in lots of boiling salted water. Drain well. Immediately toss the baby spinach into the pot then cover with the steaming hot noodles. Top the works with the fresh-from-the-oven roast tomato sauce. Gently stir everything together until the spinach wilts.
© Chef Michael Smith – #HalfYourPlate
How To Twist
Fennel fan? Drop the oregano and add lots of fennel seeds. Really, really a fennel fan? Add a head of sliced fennel along with the fennel seeds.
Fennel fanatic? Add 4 or 5 sliced Italian sausages to the works. They’re flavoured with – you guessed it – fennel seeds!
One of my all time favourite ways to enjoy ripe tomatoes is in a chilly bowl of puréed gazpacho soup. Normally raw ripe tomatoes are the base for the soup but since the local tomato season is so fleeting you can concentrate and brighten their flavours any time of the year by roasting them first!
Leeks are the easiest-to-get-along-with members of the onion family. They’re deliciously sweet, mildly pungent and simple to prepare. In this recipe they’re paired with apples and thyme. They easily fill Half Your Plate with flavour so you can fill the other half with any simple pork, chicken or fish dish!