It’s funny how simply by using fresh, seasonal produce, something that might ordinarily seem pedestrian becomes craveable. Such is the case for me for pasta with tomato sauce. Typically, it’s not something I make often. It’s overlooked in favor of whatever is the dish that’s captivating me at the moment be it grilled lamb or macaroni and cheese or pulled pork.
Yet, then when summer comes and the tomatoes growing on my back deck are so ripe they are literally bursting with juice, suddenly tomato sauce seems appealing and exciting. Part of this is necessity. I’ve realized through the course of my urban gardening that I chose Sun Golds because they are particularly easy to grow, not because I like eating them raw. They are a distinct second to a beefy heirloom or versatile Roma.
But I love them when cooked, especially in a tomato sauce. They add an unexpected hue of yellow and a pleasant sweetness. I’ve been throwing together these easy tomato sauces as weeknight dinners, changing up the recipe as I find different ingredients in the refrigerator and pantry. So far this Pasta with Roasted Yellow Tomato and Goat Cheese Sauce is one of my favorites. It’s another Meatless Monday dish on a err..Wednesday. (I swear I eat meatless most days of the week, but lately I cannot seem to get my act together about actually doing it on Mondays.) I roast the tomatoes first with shallots and garlic to caramelize them, enhancing the sweetness and flavor overall. Then, my final sauce gets blended with just a touch of chevre. I love how the chevre balances out the acidity of the tomatoes and adds just a hint of indulgence. Not that I don’t enjoy dishes that are 100% healthy, but I find a little bit of butter or cream here and there enhances the eating experience and makes whatever I’m having that much more satisfying.
-1 ½ cups Sun Gold tomatoes
-3 medium shallots or small purple bulb onions, peeled and quartered
-3 cloves garlic, peeled
-1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
-1/4 cup cream
-1/4 cup fresh goat cheese
-1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
-2 tablespoons chopped basil
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
-8 ounces dried pasta, cooked according to package directions
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, toss the the tomatoes, onions and garlic with the olive oil until all are well coated. Pour out onto a baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are bursting and onions have softened. Add to a food processor and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients through Italian seasoning and process until well combined and smooth. Stir in basil and serve over pasta.
What about you? Do you find your dishes are more inspired when they feature fresh produce?