When tomatoes are in harvest I am always looking for ways to enjoy them. You can roast any fresh tomato. Roma tomatoes are great because they are meaty and have less moisture. I am loving the sweet grape or cherry tomatoes right now.
Roast the cherry tomatoes and some smashed garlic cloves drizzled with olive oil for about 30 minutes. They will caramelize a bit and stay juicy. Toss with fresh basil, pitted kalamata olives, and lots of freshly shaved parmesan cheese. The real secret to making this pasta perfect is to get a balance between pasta and sauce. The pasta is the main ingredient! Be sure the spaghetti is cooked to just al dente – “to the tooth”. I tend to go heavy on the red pepper flakes and black pepper. Adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Simple Spaghetti with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Olives & Basil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt for tomatoes + 2 tablespoons salt for pasta water
- 1 pound spaghetti pasta
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for finishing pasta
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
- Pinch of red pepper flakes or to taste
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves torn into bite size pieces.
- ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut tomatoes in half. Spread tomatoes and smashed garlic cloves in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper over the tomatoes. Toss the tomatoes and garlic around a bit to evenly coat with oil. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are slightly caramelized and the you can start to smell the garlic aroma.
- In a large stockpot, water and add 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente - about 6 - 7 minutes. The only way to really know is to test a strand at 6 minutes. Taste again at 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to a warm pasta bowl. Try to time the pasta and the tomatoes to be ready at the same time.
- Immediately add the roasted tomatoes, olives, basil leaves, red pepper flakes and a drizzle more of olive oil on the pasta and toss. Add the parmesan cheese and toss again.
- Serve immediately.