Monday, November 19, 2012

Pesto Pasta with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

I love pasta, pesto, mushrooms, and slow-roasted tomatoes, so I knew this would be a positively perfect pasta dish and it was in all ways.  I took Roma tomatoes, cut them in half, drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them simply with salt and pepper before roasting them for 3 hours in a 225 degree oven.  What you end up with is the heavenly concentrated flavor reminding you of a freshly picked summer tomato in season.   This was a perfect meatless Monday entree and if you like these ingredients, I recommend you try this!

Pesto Pasta with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Makes 4 servings

8 Roma tomatoes
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces farfalle or bowtie pasta
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup pesto
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Early in the afternoon or day, preheat oven to 225 degrees.  Slice the Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste (be careful not to use too much salt and pepper since the flavors will be intensified after roasting).  Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about 3 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. Once done remove from oven and set aside.

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water following package directions.  Meanwhile saute sliced mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and season with salt and pepper when almost done.  Also while pasta is cooking, place the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat.  Stir frequently until the nuts turn golden brown and look slightly glossy, about 7-9 minutes.  Cut the roasted tomatoes in half.

To assemble, toss the hot drained pasta with pesto and Parmesan cheese.  Top with tomatoes and mushrooms and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Adapted from Our Best Bites Cookbook

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