I have been making this pasta for many years now, and it is still one of my favourites. As a child, I was that strange kid who couldn’t eat the food on my plate unless each component was separated from each other (unlike my sister who liked her food as one homogenous blob). This dish takes me back to that childhood pleasure of eating simple, uncomplicated food. You can really taste the delicious sweetness of the roasted cherry tomatoes that, when tossed through some al dente pasta and soft garlic, becomes a wonderful meal that will please anyone.
The day I decided to make this dish, my boyfriend Nick volunteered to make fresh pasta. Dried pasta is perfectly fine too and will also make this dish satisfyingly good. Another option is to peel spaghetti-shaped strands off a zucchini and sautee in some coconut oil or light olive oil the same way I did for my pesto post (in case you are wheat intolerant or just watching your carbohydrate intake). Stay tuned for my homemade pasta recipe.
For this meal I have made a zucchini, sugar snap, mint, and roasted corn salad to go with the pasta. The recipe is in the next post.
Roasted Cherry Tomato and Garlic Pasta with Parmesan (for 2 people)
You will need:
2 bunches of large, plump cherry tomatoes
2 bulbs of local, organic garlic (I never buy the super white garlic from China which is bleached)
light olive oil
salt and pepper
enough fresh / dried spaghetti for 2 people, or 2 medium zucchinis (washed and peeled into spaghetti strands)
extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff)
finely grated zest of a quarter lemon
Preheat the oven to 180C. Wash your cherry tomatoes (keeping them attached to their stalks) and place into a baking dish along with the 2 bulbs of garlic separated into cloves. Douse with light olive oil, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and toss with your hands until everything is coated, then place into the middle of your oven and roast gently for about 30mins until the tomato skins are starting to shrivel and the garlic is golden brown.
At about 15mins into the cooking time of the tomatoes, fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil for the pasta. (Don’t do this if you are using zucchini*). Once the water is at a boil, throw in a handful of salt and wait for it to come back to the boil. Now throw your pasta in and cook until the doneness you prefer, tasting a few strands as you go and stirring regularly (fresh pasta should only take a couple of minutes). Drain leaving a small amount of the pasta water clinging to the noodles. Take the tomatoes out of the oven, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss together with the pasta, drizzling some extra virgin olive oil to coat. Taste for seasoning again, then plate immediately.
Serve with a little more extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top, a generous amount of freshly grated parmesan, and a pinch of grated lemon zest to freshen things up. A fantastically easy dinner party dish, or a perfect TV dinner on the couch.
*For the zucchini option, sautee your zucchini strands in a pan with light olive oil until it starts to get soft, then toss together with the roasted and seasoned tomatoes. Serve the same way as the pasta option.