Archive for April 27th, 2010

Quick take: Roasted tomato pasta

This is a totally fresh, not heavily sauced pasta.
“In the interest of cooking quickly, you can precook a bunch of pasta and freeze it in smaller portions, like in zipper-top plastic bags. Then, it’s really as simple as opening a bag, running warm water over it in a colander in the sink, tossing it with whatever you want in a pan to finish,” said Sam Zien, author of Sam the Cooking Guy: Awesome Recipes & Kitchen Shortcuts (Wiley, $19.95).

Roasted tomato pasta

2 pounds small tomatoes (cherry tomatoes)
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pasta
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley or basil, for ganish

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Cut the tomatoes in half and place in a medium bowl with the garlic, half the oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Put the tomatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake about 20 minutes, or until they get all soft, squishy, and beautiful. During the tomatoes’ last 10 minutes in the oven, cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain well.
Combine the pasta, tomatoes, remaining oil, and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and toss. Garnish and serve.  Makes 6 servings.

How to freeze and use frozen pasta.

Pretty much any kind of pasta works, but it’s easier to deal with short pasta, like penne, rigatoni, or a macaroni.

Add pasta to a pot of boiling water, but cook for about a minute less than what the package says. Rinse the pasta with cool water to stop the cooking and drain really well. Really well.

Use within 3 to 4 weeks.

Quick lunchbox idea: Put pasta in sandwich-size zipper-top plastic bags, and freeze. Remove the bag from the freezer, open it, and fill it with hot water for about a minute. Drain and do whatever you want to sauce it.