Dinner last night… and one of the best iterations of the dish yet this summer. Love this sauce and I will be oh so sad to see it go as fall comes blowing in. At least one more week, though, as I just ordered more Sun Golds from the CSA… yay!
Roasted Sun Gold Cherry Tomato Sauce with Whole Wheat Linguini
This recipe is one where I don’t measure or use exact oven temperatures or cook for exact amounts of time. I generally start off slow and low, and then continually up the oven temperature as the tomatoes are starting to get soft for a bit of caramelization and to better release the juices for a saucier sauce. If left too long on low, the tomatoes dry out, which is great if you want oven-dried tomatoes for preserving, but not great if you’re expecting to have a pasta sauce at the end. I’ve tried to estimate the amounts, temperatures, and times, but I’ll be honest — each time it’s slightly different, both in technique and outcome. But each time is also delicious, so I’m not too worried about it, nor should you be.
- 3 pints of Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes
- 1/2 head of garlic
- Olive Oil
- a few sprigs of savory or thyme
- a pinch of sugar
- 1/2 – 3/4 pound of Whole Wheat Linguini
- Parmesan or Romano, about 1/2 – 3/4 cup grated
- Preheat Oven to 300 degrees. While the oven is preheating, coarsely chop some garlic cloves, pluck a few herb stems, and then toss it all together with the tomatoes into the roasting pan, and coat with olive oil. Add a few pinches of salt (2-3), a pinch of sugar, and finish with a few twists of pepper from the grinder. Once the oven is heated, add the pan to the oven.
- Stir the tomatoes every 10 minutes or so, and after about 30-45 minutes (once the tomatoes are soft and about to burst), turn up the oven temperature to 400 or 425 degrees.
- At this point, start heating up the water for the pasta. Continue stirring the tomatoes occasionally, too.
- Once the water is boiling (make sure to add enough salt to the water so that it tastes salty), add the pasta and cook until not quite al dente. You want to stop before it’s at that point, as the noodles will finish cooking in the sauce.
- While the pasta is cooking, grate the cheese.
- Just before the pasta is done, remove the tomatoes from the oven, and place on the stove top. At this point, the tomatoes should have burst, released all of their juices, and become sauce-like in consistency. There is still definition to the tomatoes, but only somewhat. If you have a roasting pan that can be placed on the burners, you can do so on low, but it should be hot enough that it is not necessary if you cannot.
- Drain the pasta, reserving at least 1/2 cup of pasta water, and toss the pasta with the sauce in the roasting pan. Add enough of the water so that the sauce thickens (the starch in the pasta water will help with that) and more easily coats the pasta. At this point, you can add the majority of the grated cheese and toss until it is melted into the sauce. You want to reserve some to top the pasta on the plate.
- Plate, serve, and enjoy.