Pasta with Quick Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula

Tomato Pasta TasteFood

~ Roasted Tomatoes, Arugula, Breadcrumbs, Thyme, Parmigiano, Gemelli ~

Things are heating up in our kitchen. All sorts of treats and sweets are baking for the holidays – plus I am busy with a cookbook project. I’ve been hired to write all of the recipes for a cookbook that will be published in early 2014 (yes, that is how the world of publishing works). More details will follow on that soon, but for now suffice to say that my kitchen is a recipe test center cyclone. With all of the cooking, you would think that a nightly dinner would be a sure thing, but frankly after a long day of developing and writing, I don’t have the where-with-all to whip up anything too complicated – which is something we can all relate to during the holidays.

So, here is an easy, low-budget recipe that uses simple ingredients and may be prepared in 30 minutes with delicious results. It also makes use of those grape tomatoes you can’t resist buying in the middle of the winter when you know better. It’s not the fault of the tomato, of course. They do look irresistable, but looks can be deceiving for out of season tomatoes, even when they are shiny and oh-so-red. This recipe will remedy any buyer’s remorse. A little slow roasting will coax out any hibernating tomato-ness, releasing juices and sugars, and deflating the impossibly pert tomatoes to a more relaxed version of themselves. You can save your buyer’s remorse for bigger things this holiday season.

Tomato Pasta Plate x

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula
Serves 4.

1 pound grape tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful of thyme sprigs
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
1 pound pasta of your choice (I used gemelli)
2 large handfuls of arugula, about 3 cups

Heat oven to 400 F. Scatter the tomatoes and garlic on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Scatter the thyme sprigs over the tomatoes. Roast in oven 25 minutes. Remove and reduce oven heat to 350 F.  Transfer the tomatoes and garlic to a large serving bowl. Discard the thyme. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on the same baking sheet and stir to coat in the olive oil.  Briefly return to the oven and cook until breadcrumbs are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes (they will brown quickly so carefully watch them). Remove and immediately transfer the breadcrumbs to a small bowl to stop them from further cooking. Cool slightly, then stir in 2 tablespoons cheese.

While the tomatoes are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente; drain. Add the pasta to the tomatoes, along with the arugula and 1/3 cup cheese. Toss to combine. Drizzle with a little more olive oil as desired, and taste for salt. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the pasta. Serve immediately.

13 thoughts on “Pasta with Quick Roasted Tomatoes and Arugula

  1. I cannot imagine the amount of work to test recipes AND write them… best wishes for a smooth ride, and the very happy ending to crown it!
    I will be paying attention to see the name of the cookbook you are working on, I’m sure it will turn out fantastic. I am afraid to ask, but will – are you going to take the photos too? I hope someone else will do that part… of course you have more than enough talent to do that, but it seems like a herculean tast to do it all…

    (great recipe, by the way, I never resist those tomatoes… or the yellow ones that at this time of the year have even less flavor 😉

  2. Congratulations! That’s fantastic!! I so relate (as recently as last night’s dinner) to the challenge of testing, tasting, writing, photographing and then trying to serve up something love-worthy for dinner! This looks like just the sort of meal we’re in need of!

  3. Congrats on the contract!! I can’t imagine how you’re doing all this, and during the holidays too! But it’s all very exciting. How can I get you to do a cookbook for me? :-)!! LOL Welcome to the world of publishing. Love the simplicity of this recipe too. I buy tomatoes this time of year only for roasting for dishes like this and for condiments like harissa. Great timing for this post!!

  4. What a great announcement! Congradulations! We all get over extended and dinner still must be prepared. A quick to prepare dinner with satisfying flavor is always appreciated!

  5. I’m with Liz.. we can retest (secretly of course) for your book. What an exciting time this must be for you.. and busy with Christmas around the corner! Congratulations, I’ve seen enough incredible recipes here to know that you are the perfect person for the job! Merry Christmas!!! xxxx

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