Keeping up with the Tomato Bounty Pasta
If you’re like me, you’ve got tomatoes coming in like crazy from the ever-so-slightly-too-many tomato plants you set out in spring, imagining that tomato time would never come. And maybe you, like I, have friends who share their bounty with you as well, resulting in a cascade of tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, hues, and tastes. And maybe you want to eat them all, but you’ve – SHOCK HORROR – grown somewhat blasé about caprese sprinkled with finely chopped basil and maybe a few crystals of fleur de sel. And maybe you simply don’t have time to can at the moment, winter’s lack of tomatoes be damned. (The despair and regret will come later, I promise.) And maybe you don’t have the wherewithal right now to cook a whole meal from beginning to end in one day after work.
Well, friends. I have a solution. This isn’t a recipe per se, but rather an accounting of a pasta so delicious, so delightful, so easy that you’ll want to eat it again and again and again. Do the following:
Lazy Tomato Bounty Pasta
Take a pile of cherry tomatoes (we all have too many of those right now, and put them in a casserole. Don’t slice them, don’t do anything to them except remove the stems and throw them in there. Chop some garlic (or, you know, smash it or throw it in whole – I don’t care) and add it. Strip the leaves from a good-sized spring of rosemary and toss them in for good measure. If you’re feeling REALLY fancy, you can chop the rosemary, but don’t you have better things to do? (Netflix, hot baths, reading for fun, staring blankly at a wall because you’re too tired to cope…) It’s probably a good idea to add some salt and pepper. Do add a few good glugs of olive oil and sort of slosh it all around until, you know, everything’s oily and the ingredients aren’t all in one spot. Stick in in the oven set at 400 for a while. Don’t even preheat it. Don’t set a timer. Just keep your nose turned on and check it in maybe a half hour or so. When the tomatoes are sort of falling apart and maybe starting to turn a little black on top (or, you know, earlier), pull out the dish and dump the tomatoes in a container or something until you have energy to use them. Resume your regularly scheduled activities (Netflix, etc. …).
Next day, come home from work with a bit of a chip on your shoulder that it’s already evening and you have to start the whole thing over again in the morning. Flop on the couch and start to ask your long-suffering partner what on earth you’re going to eat for dinner, then REMEMBER YOUR GORGEOUS ROASTED TOMATOES. While you’re putting on pajamas, have your long-suffering spouse (or dog or whatever) put on a pot of water. Ideally, you’ll also have a good friend who brought way too much fancy prosciutto to a party and left you with the leftovers (precioussssss…). If you do, congratulations: you’re living your very best life. Take a few slices of that prosciutto, slice it up really thin and throw it in a pan. Let it get all melty, then all crispy – DON’T LET IT BURN. PROSCIUTTO IS PRECIOUS. Dump it out on a plate and throw some white wine (preferably cheap, refrigerator stale, and already open) in the pan with the gorgeous roasted tomatoes and let it come up to a nice bubbly temperature. Then curse yourself for not having already put the pasta in. Put the pasta in the water, salt the living daylights out of the water and wait for the noodles to be done. (I used penne. Anything would work.) When they are, save some of that lovely salty water before you drain the pasta. Throw the tomato “sauce” in with the pasta, stir it all up, add a splash or two of the pasta water to bring it all together, then throw in a bunch of grated parmesan and DON’T FORGET THE PROSCIUTTO.
Stir it all up and eat. You’ll thank me.
There won’t be leftovers. Don’t be silly.
**P.S. I was too lazy even to take a mediocre picture of this pasta. Deal with the above glamour shot of a Cherokee Purple tomato from my garden.**