It's that time of year again! I was blessed with the gift of a large bag of tomatoes from a friend this past week and my mind was instantly called in to action... What to do with them?!
I had a few ideas... There were a lot of jalapenos in the mix as well, so salsa was the first creation that came to mind, but we'll get to that next time. So, last night, after a long weekend I wanted to make something great, yet simple and inexpensive. The tomatoes were out on the counter ready to be used for my every whim and desire and I had some leftover olives and roasted garlic from a hummus plate I had made a few days before. I couldn't imagine a better way to use up the olives and make sure the tomatoes went into something special and tasty.
The tomatoes I used for the dish were cherries, and I sliced them all in half and placed into a glass 9x13 baking dish. I then sprinkled salt and pepper over the lot and drizzled about a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil over them as well. I then took the olives (about 10 in all) and sliced them into rounds which I encorporated into the tomatoes with the roasted garlic I also sliced. You could very well roast your own garlic if you like, however, most olive bars carry roasted garlic and olives ready to go, so if you're looking to save some time just pick some up at the "bar".
Next, they all went into the oven, preheated to 350 degrees F. The aromas that followed were amazing! As they were going in the oven, getting all roasty, toasty, I started the water for my pasta. I chose spaghetti, and it worked very well for the consistency of the sauce.
Once the tomatoes and olives had broken down and bit and created a nice juice in the pan I removed them from the oven and added two ladles of the pasta water to help build my sauce. To that, I added about a tablespoon of vegan spread and a teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken it up a bit. Once it was incorporated nicely I drained my pasta and immediately returned it to the pot so that the sauce could be poured over it. This helps the sauce bind to the noodles.
Let me just say, this was delicious! For something so simple, I was pleasantly pleased with my creation. I served it with some nice rustic bread with olive oil dusted with a little salt and pepper for dipping on the side. For an easy, quick weeknight meal, this will certainly be made again!
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.