Roasted Harvest Tomato and Sausage Pasta

I've been canning all weekend, and am tired, hot, tired, hungry and tired.

Oddly enough, after about a bushel and a half of tomatoes, I'm still not tired of them.  Go figure.

So, faced with the prospect of making a quick, tasty supper with few pots (two batches of chili sauce are still cooking down) and the last of the fantastic garden tomatoes, I went with a roasted tomato sauce over pasta.

And since I had onions, red peppers, and some sausage in the freezer, I tossed them in too.  If I had garlic, that would have gone in too, but I'm suffering a garlic shortage this summer :(

And, of course, there is no recipe :)

But this is basically what I did:

Fresh tomatoes, cored and halved - one large baking sheet full (I used a mix of "normal" and paste tomatoes, simply because that's what was in the garden)
1 pound of sausage
2 medium sized onions, halved
2-3 red peppers, cleaned and halved
(1 head of garlic if you have it, top cut off and roots cleaned and trimmed)
Cheese, either mozzarella or Parmesan or both or whatever makes you felice*
Pasta, ~ 300 g dry (~2/3 pound)

Place the tomatoes on the baking sheet, cut side up.  Pour 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle with salt.  Throw the sausage, peppers and onions (and garlic) in a roasting pan (one with sides), and pour more olive oil and salt over the peppers and onions (and garlic).

Bake in a 350 F oven for around one hour, or until the veggies are very soft, and the sausage is cooked.  Meanwhile, cook pasta until just underdone (does that make sense?).

Place all the veggies in a pot, and blend with an immersion blender (or use a regular blender, but I find the immersion is quicker and cleaner).  Remove the sausage from the pan, slice it, then add the sauce and sausage back to the pan, making sure to stir up all the good bits from the bottom of the pan.

Drain the pasta, add to pan, and mix everything together.  Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese (or Parmesan, or both) on top, and place back into the oven until the cheese is all melty, around 5 minutes.  Then broil until the cheese is nicely browned and bubbly. 

This doesn't have to be a baked pasta - you can just add the sausage and sauce to the pasta like normal (in which case, fully cook the pasta, of course!).  However, I needed the same pot that I blended the sauce in to cook the pasta, so I went with putting everything in the roasting pan, which then let me top it with cheese and bake it :)

This recipe is very easy to modify (well, it's not really a recipe, so it must be easy to change!).  No sausage?  Go meatless.  Other veggies, garlic?  Toss them in.  Basically, the key to the sauce is the heavenly taste of roasted tomatoes - so sweet.  I like it with sausage, since that adds a smokey flavour to balance the sweetness of the tomatoes, and if I didn't have sausage, I would probably go with a Parmesan cheese instead of the mozzarella, just to add a salty note to the sweet.  A dash or twenty of a good red wine would add to the flavour as well.


* happy in Italian.  I think.  If not, le mie scuse**

** my apologies in Italian, I think.  If not... oh, never mind.

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