I love the flavor of the cherry tomatoes that are in the market now, sweet, juicy, highlighted with a bit of salt — what’s not to like? This recipe is inspired by some roasted tomatoes I devoured last spring at a little osteria in Tuscany … I love it because I am super busy this time of year, and this in less than 1/2 hour I can have a gourmet dinner on the table!
1/2 pound cherry or other small tomatoes 4-5 tablespoons olive oil rosemary salt (recipe follows) 1 clove garlic, minced 6-8 fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade 5 ounces (about 1/3 pkg) dried capellini (angel hair) pasta freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place tomatoes in a shallow baking dish, on layer is best.Toss with half of the olive oil and a good pinch of the rosemary salt. Roast until the skins pop, 20 – 30 minutes, depending upon the size of the tomatoes. Remove from the oven, add the garlic, additional salt to taste, and toss with the remaining olive oil and basil. Stir to break up some of the tomatoes. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water to al dente. Keep an eye on it, as capellini cooks VERY QUICKLY! When the pasta is done, drain well and immediately toss with about half of the sauce. Place in heated serving bowl or individual pasta bowls, top with remaining sauce and cheese.
1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, leaves only 1/2 cup coarse sea salt 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional)
In mini- or full six food processor, place rosemary leaves, about 2 tablespoons of the salt and the chili flakes. Process until rosemary is finely chopped. Add the remaining salt and process just to mix, taking care not to chop the coarse crystals too finely. Store in sealed container. Will keep about 3 months.
Makes 1/2 cup salt.