Wrinkled Tomatoes = Veggie Pasta

I buy large containers of grape tomatoes at Costco.  They go in salads for Client and for us, and sometimes I’ll take a small bag to work to go with my lunch.  Somehow, we ended up with 2 half containers that went all wrinkly.  They were perfectly fine, but it’s bad form to put pruney tomatoes in your client’s salad, so I needed a plan B.

While I was reorganizing the pile this week, I pulled out 4 recipes that had blog-able or Client potential, and this was one of them.  It’s from Prevention Magazine, May 2013.  It was hard to find a link, but I finally unearthed it in an article about guilt-free pasta.

Penne with Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

PREP TIME: 5 min
TOTAL TIME: 30 min
SERVINGS: 4

2 pt cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or basil
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
10 oz whole wheat penne
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. HEAT oven to 425°F. Toss tomatoes with rosemary and 1 Tbsp of the oil on large sheet pan. Roast until wilted and beginning to brown, 20 minutes.
2. COOK pasta, reserve ¼ cup cooking water, and drain. Add pasta, tomato mixture, garlic, vinegar, and cooking water to pot and simmer 2 minutes.
3. SEASON to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp oil.

NUTRITION (per serving) 360 cal, 10 g pro, 61 g carb, 8 g fiber, 9 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 22 mg sodium
This recipe is a great weeknight dinner.  There’s very little prep involved, and you can get other things ready while the tomatoes are roasting.  I used the majority of my grape

tomatoes and while I did cut them in half, it probably isn’t necessary to do so.  I followed step one for 4 cups of tomatoes and started roasting one night last week.  I put the rest of my wrinkly tomatoes in a casserole dish with a bunch of asparagus, drizzled it with oil and balsamic, and roasted them as well.  Everything went in the fridge for another time.

Last night, after a 3 hour put-together-the-new-elliptical session, we needed a quick dinner.  I boiled the water and threw in a 12 ounce box of clearance bow ties (yes, I know, 10 ounces, but it was only a 2 ounce difference and it gives me more reason to break in the new machine).  If I’d had wheat pasta in the house I would have used it. I love that this all goes back in the same pot after you drain the pasta. I used roasted garlic instead of fresh and waited to season until we had individual dishes ready to serve (husband prefers more salt and cheese than I do).  Since my roasted tomatoes had been in the refrigerator, I let the pot simmer  at least 5 minutes in step 2 to make sure everything was warmed through.

We sprinkled our finished dishes with a parm-reggiano blend, fresh basil, and a little crushed red pepper.  We salted and  peppered pretty liberally.  If you want to season the pot I’d say start with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper.  If you add the cheese, it does up the saltiness, so keep that in mind.  I’d say we ate 1-cup servings, and with a side salad, it was plenty.  The recipe says it serves 4, but I think there were at least 6 servings, so the calorie totals (my changes notwithstanding) would vary based on your serving decisions.

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Verdict:  For a simple and speedy meal, this pasta is pretty delicious.  The bites with basil were floral and sweet, and the roasting really took away the acidity of the tomatoes.  You could add goat cheese or fresh mozzarella for some creaminess or add in other veggies like asparagus or peas for a crisp-tender texture.  Husband and I both give this one a thumbs-up, so we’ll definitely make it again.

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