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Roasted Tomato Pasta

Once you’ve got some roasted tomatoes in your refrigerator, it may be hard to resist eating every single one of them on sliced sourdough bread.  Add a chilled glass of rosé and it’s hard to imagine a finer meal to enjoy on the patio on a warm summer evening.  That’s fine, and there’s no shame in it.  

But should you want to try a different iteration on the roasted tomato theme, they are also an excellent foundation for a quick pasta dinner.

Put a pot of heavily salted water on to boil.  Meanwhile, pull your roasted tomatoes out of the refrigerator and place them near the stove so they can come to room temperature.  Grate a good handful of hard cheese: parmesan, pecorino romano, or my current favorite—mizithra.  Rummage around the kitchen for potential additions to your pasta: a can of sardines packed in olive oil?  Leftover cooked greens or zucchini?  Frozen baby peas?  Extra Italian parsley?  Any or all would be good, but not strictly necessary either.

Toss your pasta into the boiling water, and give it a good stir.  Now’s your chance to: open the mail, change into shorts, catch up on twitter, or turn the sprinkler on in the garden.  Come back and check the pasta.

Reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta.  Put several roasted tomatoes in the bottom of the hot pasta pan, and any other ingredients you have decided to add, except the cheese.  Let ingredients sit for a minute or so over the formerly hot burner to warm.  Add pasta, drizzle on some of the oil from the roasted tomato container and a bit of the reserved pasta water if needed.  Sprinkle with half of the cheese, and toss very gently.  Add a few grinds of pepper.  Serve topped with remaining cheese.

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