Thursday, March 31, 2011

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Pasta

This is a pasta recipe I saw on one of the Rachel Ray shows. She used it as a side dish to go along with some steaks but I used it as the main dish. I thought it was awesome, Sam thought it was just okay. He thought it needed some meat. Whats your opinion?

1 pound penne (For GF, sub in your favorite kind)
2 pints grape tomatoes
8-10 cloves garlic, cracked but left in skins
olive oil for drizzling
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated parmigianio-reggiano
10-20 basil leaves, cut up
2 cups coarsely chopped arugula

Preheat oven to 450.
Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil for the pasta. Salt water, add pasta and cook to just shy of being done. It needs to have a real bite left to it because it will sit in the sauce for 2 minutes later on and continue to cook. Heads up: you will need 2 ladles of starchy cooking water just before draining, about 1 1/2 cups.
Place the grape tomatoes on a cookie sheet with the garlic. Coat the tomatoes and cracked garlic with 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and season with lots of salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.
Remove the roasted garlic from the skins and mash into a paste with the side of your knife. Transfer the garlic paste to the bottom of a pasta bowl. Using a fork, mix the garlic into 2 ladles of starchy pasta cooking water, about 1 1/2 cups. Add the tomatoes to the bowl and mash them with a potato masher until a sauce forms and tomates are well combined with garlic broth. Add penne, grated cheese, arugula and basil and toss a minute or 2 to allow the pasta to soak up flavors.

**Randi's Side Notes**
~ Keep a close eye on your garlic. Mine burned and were hard to mash, but I made it work.
~ Also, I used spinach leaves instead of the arugula and loved it.
~ To make this dairy and gluten free. Try subbing in your favorite alternatives. I really like a good quinoa pasta, but have not personally tried a dairy free cheese yet.

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