This is a perfect pasta for late Summer or for when some hothouse in B.C. is cranking out so many tomatoes that they're on super sale at the grocery store. Once they're roasted the tomatoes freeze well and are great to use on pizza, in dip, on a sandwich - so many things. This is basically an Amatriciana sauce - tomatoes, red chili flakes, and bacon or pancetta - though it would usually be served on spaghetti or bucatini (my new favorite). If you have the tomatoes on hand it only takes about 15 minutes to make. It's a great go to dinner - rich, spicy, simple, satisfying, and fresh.
|Oops, too good to wait for the photo.|
5 pounds (about 15) ripe tomatoes
salt & pepper
8 garlic cloves (papery skin still on)
4 slices of good bacon or equivalent of pancetta
2 generous pinches of red chili flakes
1/2 an onion, sliced
1 lb pasta
- Cut the tomatoes into eighths and spread them onto two sheet pans with the garlic cloves. I use a non-stick liner to make clean-up easier, but tin foil or parchment paper will work also. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and then toss to coat.
- Roast in the oven at 325 degrees for about 2 hours - until they are dark, but not burned. I know that's a long time, but you can make these on the weekend, store them in the fridge for a couple of weeks or freezer for a couple of months, and you'll have the toms ready for whenever you want them.
- Scrape the tomatoes and any good pan juices into a bowl. Peel the garlic, mush it with the back of a spoon, and mix it in with the tomatoes.
- Put on your pasta water. I set a half cup measuring cup next to the pot to remind me to take out some of the pasta water before draining. This is the only way I ever remember to do it.
- In a frying pan, cook the bacon until brown but not hard.
- Add the onion and cook until it starts to brown, then add the chili flakes and cook for about 2 minutes more. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta and before draining take out about half a cup of the salty, gluteny water.
- Add the pasta to the bacon and stir in the tomatoes. Stir in the pasta water a bit at a time. If you forget this step, don't worry about it, it just smooths the sauce a little and helps it coat the pasta better.