Make an Easy and Healthy Pasta Sauce with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

by Pamela

oven roasted tomatoes, easy pasta dishes, healthy pasta sauce, homemade pasta

There are a couple of truths in life that I’ve learned: winter tomatoes taste like rubber balls and spending more than an hour to make dinner (on a regular night) is ridiculous.  Of course there are other truths out there, but as far as this post is concerned…they don’t exist.  This oven roasted tomatoes pasta sauce is healthy and crazy delicious (even though it uses those rubber ball tomatoes – I’ll let you in the secret of making them taste better).  Plus, you can get dinner on the table in almost record time without having to resort to take out.

I spent my entire day cooking (at least 6 different things), cleaning and putting in some of my garden(s).  Needless to say, I was more than a little tired when I got done.  But of course, I had invited some neighbors over for dinner that night.  Isn’t it really stupid how our mouth gets so generous with offers before we start in on our projects, when your brain is clearly screaming “NO!!!! DON’T BE AN IDIOT!  YOU KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO BE EXHAUSTED AND NOT WANT TO DO ANYTHING TONIGHT EXCEPT PASS OUT ON THE COUCH WITH A PIECE OF TAKEOUT PIZZA IN ONE HAND AND A GLASS OF WINE IN THE OTHER!!!!!”  And yet, your mouth just ignores the brain.  Like it didn’t even exist.  Will our mouths ever listen?

Easy-Pasta-Dishes

I already knew that I was going to make one of my easy pasta dishes for dinner and use some oven roasted tomatoes to top the pasta.  In fact, I had plans to make homemade pasta for everyone.  Until my body felt like it had been possessed by the devil and every joint and muscle ached.  Of course I ended up making the pasta anyway because I didn’t have any pasta in the house.  The neighbors thought I was fantastic for making it from scratch and I thought I was a complete and total moron for not having any pasta in the house.  Thankfully, I have a pasta recipe that’s super simple to make and I’ve got it memorized.

Easy pasta dishes are the absolute savior for many a dinner aren’t they?  You can have something as simple as oven roasted tomatoes topping pasta with some great cheese and maybe a bottle of wine and it just tastes gourmet.  It’s like the eighth wonder of the world isn’t it?

Healthy-Pasta-Sauce

As for those rubber tasting tomatoes….The secret to making out of season tomatoes taste more like real tomatoes is to oven roast them.  Sure, I do this to prime summer tomatoes too but the roasting rids the tomato of excess water and concentrates the tomato flavor (yes, they actually do have some flavor in there…you just need to work it out of them).

The other great thing about oven roasted tomatoes is that they make a really healthy pasta sauce too.  Okay, maybe not “sauce” in the traditional sense, but when you add in some chopped garlic, sweet onion and olive oil to the roasting process you’ve got something that a little more closely resembles a sauce.

I only used salt and pepper to season these roasted veggies, but you could change up the flavors of this healthy pasta sauce by sprinkling it with dried basil, oregano and thyme before you throw it in the oven for roasting.

After topping the pasta with all that roasted goodness, I added some freshly ground black pepper to each dish along with some torn fresh basil leaves and a healthy amount of grated Parmesan cheese.

Promptly after sucking down my portion of this delectable pasta I passed out on the couch only to awaken the next morning with a big piece of basil stuck on my front teeth and bit of drool on my cheek (it was quite the pretty picture as you can imagine).

Relationship Advice

I love science.  When I was a kid, I so wanted to be a scientist.  But since I had no idea what I would be doing except for working in a lab, I went into business.  Which meant I became more of a lab rat than a lab scientist.  But back to my love for science.  You just gotta love it when the scientists actually prove something that you’ve been saying all along: some people are just born asshats.

Lab studies have shown that oxytocin and vasopressin hormones tend to make people nicer and more sociable.  In a more recent study, scientists wanted to find out if the presence of these hormones, and the associated gene receptors, also caused people to do things like give to charity, report a crime, attend PTA meetings or give blood.

What they found, during these studies, was that these genes coupled with someone’s perception of the world to be more or less threatening helped to determine how these people would act.  Meaning that even if someone found the world to be a threatening place, if they had the receptor genes for these “cuddly hormones,” they would overcome their fear of the threat to do kind/sociable things.

So what can we take away from this study?  If you’re boyfriend is an ass or your girlfriend is a bitch…they were probably born that way.  You aren’t going to change them so just get that idea right out of your head.

(Source: Science Daily)

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Recipe: Healthy Pasta Sauce with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Large Sweet Onion (diced)
  • 6 Cloves Garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (plus more for drizzling)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Handful of Basil Leaves (roughly torn)
  • Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1 Pound Cooked Pasta (any shape)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (makes cleanup so much easier).
  3. Dump the tomatoes, onion and garlic onto the lined baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over top of the veggies and use your hands to make sure that everything is well coated with the oil.
  5. Evenly spread the vegetables out on the baking sheet (you don’t want things to be too overlapped or they won’t cook evenly).
  6. Sprinkle a couple of good pinches of kosher salt over everything and slide the pan into the oven.
  7. Roast for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the tomatoes and how cooked you want them. I like to cook them until the skins begin to show sharp creases in them and the garlic and onions have just a bit of brown on them.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Plate up the pasta and top with equal amounts of the roasted tomato mixture.
  10. Add a few grinds of pepper to the dish, followed by the torn basil leaves and grated Parmesan.
  11. Serve.

Quick notes

I used the tiny tomatoes, but you could use larger tomatoes as well. Simply cut them into smaller pieces before roasting.

Variations

If you like roasted peppers, you could include slices of red, orange or yellow sweet peppers on the pan and roast those along with the tomato mixture.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Italian

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4 comments

Belinda @zomppa April 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm

So true about those tomatoes…roasting is a great all year round!

Pamela April 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm

It still amazes me how roasting them can totally save those little tasteless things. The only downside to roasting in the summer is heating up the kitchen.

Georgie April 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm

This is my favorite way to make pasta by roasting the tomatoes. Your homemade pasta looks amazing! I wish I lived in your neighborhood. Plus, I think you wonder Women – you kinda look like her too ;)

Pamela April 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Awwww….Georgie, you’re too kind. I’ll tell you what – I sure felt like Wonder Woman that day. I wish you lived in my neighborhood too. We could get in all kinds of trouble. By the way…did you ever try that ‘sex’ cake?

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