I often wondered how to transform a «humble» tomato sauce into something more interesting. So, one day, I decided to roast the tomatoes. This added all the extra flavour I was looking for. I mixed in some black olives and served it with bucatini pasta. Fantastic.
You will need
- 1 kg ripe tomatoes, split in half
- ¼ cup olive oil plus 2 Tbs extra
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- a little fresh thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 70 gr tomato paste
- about 20 black kalamata olives, pitted
- 500gr bucatini pasta (or any other pasta)
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- 2 Tbs fresh ricotta cheese (optional. It will add creaminess)
Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Put the tomatoes in a baking tray, cut side up and drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil. Sprinkle with the garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Take them out and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Remove any thyme stalks, put everything in a blender and puree. Add the tomato paste and pulse briefly to mix.
Take a large saucepan over medium heat and add the puree As soon as it boils, lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Taste sauce and add more salt or pepper if needed.
While sauce cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook, 3 minutes less than the time indicated on the packet instructions. Drain pasta reserving some of the cooking water. Add pasta in the tomato sauce and mix gently over low heat for a couple of minutes. Add the olives, parmesan and ricotta cheese (if using). Mix gently and serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese.