Sunday, September 11, 2011

Baked Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti

I have an unhealthy addiction to tomatoes.  I treasure them in the summer, and get weird looks when I get starry-eyed at the farmer's market looking at the brilliant selection of beautifully colored tomatoes.  I am always thinking of new ways to use tomatoes and have a long list of recipes bookmarked that use them.  Last night I wanted some comfort food, and while I love making tomato sauce with the fresh tomatoes, it's fairly time intensive, and sometimes you just want something delicious for dinner that's really really fast.  This "sauce" that I read about on Wednesday Chef caught my attention and only really needs three ingredients: tomatoes, olive oil and panko.  When added to some spaghetti will make a completely satisfying and delicious meal.

adapted from the Wednesday Chef
What you'll need (serves 2):
1 pint the freshest little cherry or grape tomatoes you can find
1/2 cup panko
a few tablespoons olive oil
Enough spaghetti for 2 people(I used whole wheat which I thought went well with this lighter sauce)
*Feel free to jazz this up with parmesan and basil, if you have it on hand.

Start by preheating the oven to 350, and boiling a pot of salted water.  As Paula says, the water should "taste like the sea!"  Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet.  Season with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then sprinkle the panko on so all the tomatoes are covered.  If you have parmesan, add that on now, as well.
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.  While baking, boil the spaghetti till al dente.  When the tomatoes are done, they should be hot and sweet, and the panko a very light brown.  Mush the tomatoes down with a fork, and then toss with the spaghetti, and a tablespoon or 2 of the starchy pasta water.  
Add basil, more parmesan and a touch of olive oil.

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