During the summertimes when I was growing up, we would often grow tomatoes in our backyard in Ohio. No supermarket tomato can even come close to the vine-ripen tomatoes that come out of a home garden. Picked right at the peak of ripeness, fresh “backyard” tomatoes can’t be beat.
Well, I don’t have a backyard garden in my tiny urban condo, but I do belong to a farm share that picks the tomatoes the same morning they deliver them to me.
When tomatoes taste this good inherently, there’s not much that needs to be done with them. Hence, I kept it super simple in this bright, clean and addictive pasta dish that really takes advantage of the tomato’s inherent beautiful flavors.
It really can’t be easier than this. Just cut the tomatoes in half, toss with a bit of salt, and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes (this allows some flavor molecules to be released). Tossed with some olive oil, and roast in the convection oven for about 30 minutes at 350 °F. (If you are short on time, you can skip the salting step and just add salt with the oil before roasting – it will still be very good!)
They’ll come out a bit wrinkly and will have nicely concentrated tomato flavors!
Add some chopped basil and toss with pasta or gnocchi! Optionally add some fresh mozarella if desired.
For fun I bought this rice gnocchi from an Italian store, mostly because I was curious how it would taste. I tried making rice gnocchi once. Although it wasn’t bad, both Bryan and I agreed that we liked traditional gnocchi better. I wanted to see how a commercial version compared to the one I made.
Well guess what? The flavor was similar, but I think the texture of the commercial one was a bit better. I also loved how the tomato sauce tasted, so I actually thought the final dish was really really good, and I couldn’t stop eating it!
You can always add a splash of sugar to sweeten things up if your tomatoes are not super sweet. Sometimes it’s hard to predict, but now is the best time to stock up on those farm fresh tomatoes and make some super flavorful sauce!
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