Canned tomatoes are my go-to until that precious window when fresh tomatoes are ripe with flavor. It’s the best time of the year.
The Sun Golds and Sweet 100s growing steadily in containers on our back deck aren’t quite ready to be picked.
Feeling impatient, I resorted to buying a couple pounds of grape tomatoes at the grocery.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with supermarket tomatoes especially when they’re in season somewhere in the US.
In the Midwest, it takes a while for tomatoes to appear at the farmers market.
With my tomato purchase, I whipped up roasted tomato and garlic pasta salad.
This would have been just as good served hot, but given the season, it seemed far more appropriate eaten at room temperature or chilled.
First I toasted the pine nuts in the oven.
Then in a rectangular baking dish, I tossed tomatoes and garlic with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
While the tomatoes and garlic cooked, I made the cavatappi pasta.
The color of the tomatoes deepened and the edges wrinkled once they finished roasting. I stirred the tomatoes into the big bowl of pasta.
When the garlic was cool enough to handle, I slipped the cloves out of their skins. Roasting the garlic mellowed its taste.
Using a fork, I whisked the roasted garlic along with a little pesto into the leftover tomato juices and olive oil in the baking dish. This became my sauce. It was great because nothing went to waste.
The spiral-shaped cavatappi noodles allowed for a balanced distribution of tomatoes with a few more accompaniments including chopped basil, fresh mozzarella and toasted pine nuts.
I drizzled the dressing over the roasted tomato and garlic pasta salad to finish it off.
Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta Salad
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 pint pounds grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more for seasoning
8 ounces cavatappi pasta
2 tablespoons pesto
1/4 cup torn basil
2 tablespoons minced chives
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spread the pine nuts on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven until they turn golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
In a rectangular baking dish, combine the tomatoes and garlic. Stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes until the tomatoes have deepened in color and have slightly wrinkled.
While the tomatoes and garlic are roasting, cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and rinse in cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.
Once the tomatoes have cooled, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the bowl with the pasta. Slip the garlic cloves out of their skins and whisk the garlic into the remaining liquid in the baking dish. Pour over the pasta and stir in the pesto, basil, chives, mozzarella and pine nuts. Season to taste.