Here’s a little segue into cooking. Why? Well, I love to cook, my friends often ask me for my recipes, and I am constantly tweeting and putting up on Facebook photos of my creations. Why the Pleasant Peasant Cooks? Because I make really simple stuff. Easy fair. Quick. And I’m often cooking with a glass of wine nearby. As a result, I cook half cocked, my meals are loaded with love, and most of the time, they hit the mark.
I also blog with a glass of wine. Here’s to my wintry favorite, a Columbia Valley Merlot acquired at Costco. The Pleasant Peasant drinks as well. Dig it or move on.
Last night I roasted tomatoes brought to me by my across-the-street neighbor, Judy, an amazing talker, a habitual smoker, and prone to injury. She’s fascinating, if you’ve got the time. And I’m still trying to figure out how a neighbor who smokes as much as she does can bring me baskets and baskets of eggplant and tomatoes. She always wants to know what I’m going to do with them. She’s Japanese, she doesn’t do what I do. This is what I did last night:
Cappellini with Roasted Tomatoes
1 pound Barilla PLUS Angel Hair (aka cappellini), cooked for 5 minutes, NOT 6 (Multi-grain, Weight Watchers friendly at 3 points for a normal serving, 6 points for my serving)
1-2 pounds of Roma tomatoes, quartered
1 medium to large onion, finely diced
Olive oil, Hawaiian or other big salt like Fleur de Sel (oooo-la-la!), fresh cracked pepper
Parmesan or Romano or Cheap shaky cheese
METHOD: (Let’s pretend, OK?)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Line cookie sheet with Reynolds release aluminum foil, or any other kind of foil.
Spread finely diced onion on pan.
Top with quartered tomatoes.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle with dried Italian herbs, salt and pepper.
Roast in oven for 45 minutes, or until tomatoes have some charring on their edges. Go longer if you like, to carmelize the onions, but we were eager to eat. I love carmelized onions. I’ll do something else with them another time!
Prepare angel hair (or whatever pasta you have or want; this is my favorite!), to just al dente, about a minute short of the box’s instructions. Drain, return to pot, toss with olive oil.
Chiffonade the basil until it looks like you have a couple of handfuls of grass on your cutting board. Don’t cut too early or it will oxidize, or turn dark.
Sprinkle the basil threads onto the tomatoes and onions.
Here’s the trick. Have you ever tried to toss something with angel hair or spaghetti? OMG, can it look like crap or what? Instead of dumping all of the veggies in at once, here’s what you do:
Pour half the roasted tomatoes, onions and fresh basil into the pot with the pasta. Toss with tongs, adding extra olive oil if necessary.
Serve in pasta bowls, then top with a little more of the tomato/onion/basil mix.
Top with freshly grated cheese.
Serves 4-6 people, depending on appetites!
Where’s my wine?