Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lazy Daze

Where I live, we've already had our first freeze. Brrr! I've been packaging rescued green tomatoes, wrapping each individually in newspaper, and putting them in a cardboard box with an apple (emits ethylene gas which helps stimulate ripening). I put the box in a cool spot and wait for the tomatoes to ripen. But you have to check them everyday, inevitably, one will go bad, just toss it. It all seems so sudden. My basil's gone, geraniums gone, trees are bare, and the days are shorter. It makes me long for the season past. At times like these, I make Spaghetti with Tomato Confit, Basil, and Parmesan. It reminds me of those lazy hours, lingering in the sunshine.

Spaghetti with Tomato Confit, Basil, and Parmesan

Serves 4 (This begs for a crusty baguette.)


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more (about 1/4 cup) for serving
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
18 fresh basil leaves, plus 1/4 cup for serving (if large, cut into thin ribbons)
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
About 50 cherry tomatoes, rinsed and patted dry
3 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pound spaghetti
2 cups loosely packed arugla or baby spinach
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan for serving


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the whole basil leaves and red pepper flakes and stir well.

Toss the tomatoes with the 1 teaspoon of the salt and the sugar and place in a 8"x12" roasting pan, lined with foil. The pan should be large enough to hold them in a single layer. If they won't fit, use another roasting pan and more oil. Spoon the onion mixture over the tomatoes. Add enough oil to come halfway up the tomatoes. Roast until the tomatoes are very tender, about 2 hours. Stir once, gently, during the roasting. You can roast the tomatoes up to 6 hours ahead.

Bring a large pot of water with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt to a boil. Add the spaghetti and stir constantly until the water returns to a boil. Cook until the pasta is al dente, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the tomatoes and onion in a large saucepan over low heat. When the pasta is done, drain and transfer to the saucepan with the tomatoes. Add the arugula or spinach. Toss well. Add the basil and toss again.

Serve immediately in warm shallow bowls with Parmesan sprinkled over the top.

Adapted from The Tomato Festival Cookbook, by Lawrence Davis-Hollander. I love this!

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