Bucatini with Oven-Baked Tomatoes

Bucatini coi Pomodori al Forno

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The recipe for these tomatoes originally appeared in my mother’s first book and it has been a family favorite ever since I can remember. My classmates in elementary school in New York who were accustomed to the usual ham and cheese or tuna sandwiches would often be startled by the sandwiches my mother would prepare for my lunch. One of my favorites was a veal cutlet layered with fried eggplant and these oven-baked tomatoes. They also make a delicious sauce for pasta.

Total Time from Start to Finish: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound bucatini
  • 2 tablespoons pecorino Romano, freshly grated
  • 4 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise, remove the seeds, and place them in a baking pan with the cut side facing up. Sprinkle the garlic and parsley into the tomato cavities and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle 5 tablespoons of the olive oil over the tomatoes and put the pan in the oven. Bake for about an hour, or until the tomatoes have shriveled up a bit and begun to brown lightly at the edges. They can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated, but be sure to save all the olive oil from the pan.
  3. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, cover, and place over high heat. When the water boils, add 2 tablespoons salt and the bucatini, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente.
  4. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle scrape the flesh away from the skin with a round tipped dinner knife. Discard the skins and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Reheat them in a pan with all the olive oil they baked with over medium low heat.
  5. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce, the remaining tablespoon olive oil, and the two grated cheeses. Serve at once.

Also good with:
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