Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Last rites of summer pasta

This very tasty pasta represents the last throes of summer produce here at Chez Bogas. A few weeks ago, faced with an empty Saturday, a half-pint of my beloved sungold tomatoes, and a pot of squirrel-eaten, freeze-shy basil on the porch, I decided to make a pesto carbonara. Accompanying the eggy pasta were slow-roasted tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and fresh basil.

The tomato-roasting method I used came from Smitten Kitchen. The tomatoes were chewy, acidic, and delicious, and the slow-roasting made the house smell wonderful.

Slow-roasted tomatoes
from Smitten Kitchen

Cherry, grape or small Roma tomatoes
Whole gloves of garlic, unpeeled
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry or grape tomato crosswise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside–this could take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes.

Pesto carbonara with slow-roasted tomatoes and pine nuts

8 oz spiral pasta
4-6 tbsp pre-made pesto
1/2 cup slow-roasted tomatoes
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 egg
Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper

Cook pasta per directions. Drain, but reserve pasta water. Fill a heat-proof bowl with hot pasta water to warm it. Dump water, then crack egg into the bowl. Add the hot pasta immediately and stir well. Mix in pesto and add a little pasta water. Then mix in slow-roasted tomatoes and pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh basil and parmesan.

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