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Friday, March 1, 2013

Quick Roasted Tomatoes

One of the most delicious things to whip up on the fly and incorporate into almost anything is roasted tomatoes.  They can easily make an ordinary pizza or pasta dish so much more exciting.  A quick pesto sauce is one of the easiest things I can whip up during the week.  Boil some pasta...roast some tomatoes...combine it all.  You have one of the easiest and tastiest dinners known to exist.  That, and for some reason my two and a half year old daughter LOVES pesto.  She does not however love tomatoes.  At least she's eating the pasta - so I can't complain.  Especially because I then get to eat her tomatoes too.  I've incorporated zucchini before (my very first post) - zucchini pretty much blends in and is overwhelmed by the pesto - it's delicious, but not a tremendous presence in the dish.  On the other hand, the roasted tomatoes make themselves known - loud and proud and super yummy.  In the summer, do both!  Roasted tomatoes AND zucchini...oh I can't wait for summer!!!

Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted tomatoes:
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste

Basic pesto:
3 cups basil
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated romano cheese
1/3 cup sliced almonds (or pine nuts or walnuts, etc.)
2/3 cup olive oil

1 box of whole grain penne

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place the tomatoes on a lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and sugar and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

While the tomatoes are roasting, combine the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor and process until everything is well incorporated and fine.  Boil the pasta according to the package and drain.  Combine the pasta and pesto.  Then add the roasted tomatoes and gently mix into the pasta.  Serve with extra romano cheese.

A creamy variation (IF you don't care about the extra fat and calories):  You can heat 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of butter in a small sauce pan.  Combine with the finished pesto before adding to the pasta.

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