November 16th, 2004
Pasta Fresca, a fresh summer dish that should only be prepared during the months when ripe tomatoes are abundant. Cheap, easy and tasty. What's not to like?
extra virgin olive oil
20 Roma tomatoes, chopped vertically in quarters
1 pound rigatoni
Fresh basil, julienned
Grated parmesan cheese, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degress F. Boil water for pasta in a large pot and season with salt.
2. Place cut tomatoes into a glass-baking dish with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss until the tomatoes are well coated, and if you like, add Italian herbs. Cover with aluminum foil.
3. Transfer glass dish with tomatoes to oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the tomato juices are boiling in the dish. In the meantime cook pasta until al dente. Remove foil and increase heat to 400 degrees F and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
4. Bruise basil by placing leaves one at a time in one hand and hitting with the other. Place leaves on top of each other and roll into a small cylinder and thinnly slice to make small strips.
5. Serve pasta on a plate with tomatoes on top, garnish with lots of basil and parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.