I really love making pasta for dinner. It’s easy to make a big batch without too much extra trouble – which means lots of leftovers for my husband to take to work, or to have for dinner on the evenings I won’t be home. I have 3 or 4 recipes that have become favorites, because they’re delicious, and don’t take a lot of time or effort to make. I have continually adapted this one over the years I’ve been making it, and it gets more delicious every time.
Roasted Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Pasta
makes 4-6 dinner servings
adapted very liberally from here
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes (I also love using the mini heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joe’s), halved
1 large shallot (or about 1/4 of a large, sweet onion), minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1/4 cup bread crumbs (preferably Italian seasoned)
2 t smoked paprika (optional)
2-3 oz goat cheese, roughly crumbled
freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish
1 pound short cut pasta (penne, ziti, etc), cooked until al dente
1.) Preheat oven to 375°. Place halved tomatoes, shallot, and garlic into a baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the top, and add salt, pepper, (about 3/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper) and smoked paprika, if using. Mix to evenly coat all the tomatoes, etc, in the olive oil and spices.
2.) Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the tomato mixture, and drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the top of the bread crumbs. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until tomatoes have burst, and the mixture is bubbling around the edges.
3.) Meanwhile, cook your pasta. Make sure to season your pasta water very well, as the cooking water is the only chance you have to season the pasta itself. Cook until just al dente, and then drain.
4.) Place your crumbled goat cheese in the bottom of a serving bowl. Once you’ve drained your pasta well, dump the pasta on top of the goat cheese in your bowl, and then spoon the tomato sauce over the pasta. Grate a good amount of parmesan (1/2 a cup or so) over the sauce. The heat of the pasta and the sauce will soften and melt the goat cheese and parmesan, so it will mix evenly into the pasta as you stir everything together.
5.) Once everything is evenly combined, spoon the pasta into bowls, and top with more grated parmesan.
I really love the addition of goat cheese to this pasta. It gives the whole dish a lovely creaminess, without adding lots of heavy cream or other heavy ingredients. I make this pasta a couple times a month, and my husband raves about it every time. Personally, I love the use of the fresh tomatoes in the sauce – it’s just a lighter, fresher alternative to always using jarred sauce (or making your own from canned tomatoes). This dish is also perfect for company, served with a big green salad and some crusty bread!
I can’t wait to have a functional kitchen again, so I can actually cook,