Friday, October 3, 2008

Little Tomatoes

I love little grape, cherry, pearl, or whatever you want to call it, tomatoes. Back when I lived in the Burbs, I had a friend who grew these super tasty tomatoes and I would go to her house and pick and eat to my heart's content. Those were the days. Here in the city, I don't know anyone who grows such beautiful tomatoes so I have to resort to the grocery store. Serendipitously, I found these gorgeous baby heirloom tomatoes at Trader Joe's. So, I tried to recreate this yummy recipe that I used to make a lot. It is a simple recipe but it takes a long time and a lot of tomatoes.

First you half about 1 - 1.5 pound of little tomatoes, lay them on a cookie sheet and drizzle them with some olive oil. You can add a couple cloves of garlic or whatever herbs you like. I just like my as simple as possible. I don't even salt them but I've seen recipes that says salt them lightly. Then you bake them at 250F for 3 hours or so. Yep, you read it right. Low temperature for a long long time. The aroma that fills the house while you bake these is heavenly and the result is a very rich, sweet, flavourful, almost sun dried tomato like product.

Now, you can continue on and make the pasta that I made or just store them in a container and refrigerate them. They are great on salads, antipastos, sandwiches, etc. If you are interested in this simple pasta, then cook a pound of pasta 20 min before the tomatoes are done. Heavily salt the pasta water before putting the pasta in. Cook for 12 min or however you like to cook your pasta. Drain but don't drain too well.

While the pasta is still hot, throw in some fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, mint, chives, or whatever you have) and about 3-4 oz of a super easy to melt soft cheese. I've tried goat cheese in the past but I thought that'd be too strong for the kids so I used mascapone this time. I imagine fresh mozzarella will be good too. Maybe ricotta? Mix everything together until the cheese melts completely and resemble a white sauce the lightly coats the pasta. Now, toss in all or some of your tomatoes (with the olive oil) and mix again. Voila! Dinner is served. I had some salmon around so I threw that in as well. If you are a tomato lover and have never tried this, give it a chance.

What did the girl think about this meal?

She'd rather eat the entire tub of parmesan. I was very defeated to see that. I know she doesn't like tomatoes, but still! I guess this little person is not ready for such yumminess. Oh well, all the more for me. Bon apetite.

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