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!
Pumpkins are not just for carving into pretty faces they’re vegetables, so you can eat them too! As members of the squash family they’re deliciously versatile, inexpensive and packed with nutrients. Your best choice for cooking though are not the various jack-o-lantern varieties, they tend to be too big and bland. Instead, try this simple yet stunning idea with a few mini decorative pumpkins during harvest. With all this seasonal flavour they’re a great way to fill Half Your Plate!
There are as many ways to roast a chicken as there are cooks. This basic method is my favourite. Roasting the chicken perched on top of a thick bed of vegetables not only helps you prepare an entire meal at once but also guarantees that not a drop of flavour is lost. You can also skip all the normal laborious of slicing by simply shredding the meat into the works and tossing together a pan stew of sorts!