Pasta baked with a Roasted cherry tomato sauce

I had gotten these beautiful grape tomatoes this week and wanted to use them in a dish where they were gonna be the star of the dish. While I was thinking about this, I saw the recipe for this ‘Pasta Ponza’ on the food network show ‘Giada at Home’. Giada is one of my favorite chefs, and all of her recipes that I have tried, always come out just perfect. The only complaint I have is the outrageous amount of cheese that she uses in her recipes. Does she really eat that kinda food and look so stunningly pretty? Makes me wonder….Anyway, I adapted this recipe by adding some garlic and a shallot. Plus, I reduced the amount of cheese used in the recipe to just a little bit, in the attempt of keeping this a healthy dish.

Ingredients:
1 pound ziti
2 pounds red grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp salt, plus extra as needed for pasta water and seasoning
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
butter for greasing

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.
Place the tomatoes, capers, garlic, shallot and olive oil, salt and pepper in the prepared baking dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes.

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the pasta. Add the cheese and toss well. Thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.

Verdict: The roasted fresh tomatoes had a beautiful flavor, and the breadcrumbs were a great addition, because some remained crunchy and some absorbed the juices from the tomato and added body to the sauce. This was the first time I used/tasted capers in a dish. They were tangy and added a good bite. I am glad I added the garlic and the shallot and I love the flavors that these ingredients added. A good summer pasta dish.

I am sending this to ‘Presto Pasta Nights#174′ this week @ More Than Words.

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4 Comments

  1. Hmmm yes I often wonder how Giada stays so thin. She either exercises like a crazy woman or has the metabolism of a wild bull.

    This pasta looks fantastic! Love the fresh flavors of the cherry tomatoes.

  2. Pasta with grape tomatoes looks delicious.Even I too wonder how Giada maintains her slim body with all the cheesy cooking she does.

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