Meatless Mondays- Slow Roasted Tomatoes + Pasta

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Not too long ago I discovered Brit + Co, which highlighted a recipe for slow roasted tomatoes, which is an at-home method for making "sun dried" tomatoes.  If you like sun dried tomatoes, these are a great recipe for you.  The slow roasted tomatoes have the intensity and complexity of flavor that sun dried tomatoes have but have a softer texture, which can be nice.  They're also a good way of using up or preserving tomatoes you have lying around that might otherwise go bad.  I made the recipe as is:

Slow Roasted Tomatoes
from Smitten Kitchen

Cherry, grape or small Roma tomatoes
Whole gloves of garlic, unpeeled
Olive oil
Herbs such as thyme or rosemary (optional)

Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry or grape tomato crosswise, or Roma tomato lengthwise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle herbs on, if you are using them, and salt and pepper, though go easily on these because the finished product will be so flavorful you’ll need very little to help it along.

Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside–this could take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes.

Either use them right away or let them cool, cover them with some extra olive oil and keep them in the fridge for the best summer condiment, ever. And for snacking.

* I don't know how many tomatoes I started out with, but I ended up with 1- 8 oz jar.  I filled the jar with the tomatoes, surrounded them with olive oil, and stored them in my fridge.

The only problem with making a recipe that isn't necessarily a dish in itself is that you then have to put some thought and effort into what else you're going to make with them.  I mean, you could eat these by themselves, and they might make a good accompaniment on a meat and cheese tray or something, but I wanted to use them as a star in a dish.  It took me forever to get around to making something.  I used half the tomatoes to make Drew and me a pasta dish.  It was a good choice.  A really good choice.  We both said we would eat and want this again, and Drew's heart doesn't leap at the thought of pastas like mine does.

I made a variation on spaghetti aglio e olio (spaghetti with garlic and oil), and used the slow roasted tomatoes it it.

The more I look at some of my pictures, the more I realize I am a terrible photographer.  Don't let that deter you from making this tasty and simple dish!

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Slow Roasted Tomatoes
feeds 2

4 oz. long pasta, such as spaghetti or fettuccine (or a mix, if you're like me and have a little of both)
1/2 jar (4 oz) slow roasted tomatoes and oil
6-10 cloves garlic, depending on your own love of it
1-2 Tb olive oil
Grated/shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Boil noodles until al dente in a large pot of salted water.  Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.  Slice your garlic cloves into slices and your oven roasted tomatoes into strips.  In a large, shallow pan, pour the oil from the tomatoes into the pan and add additional olive oil to coat the bottom.  Heat over medium to medium low and add garlic.  Saute on low, being careful not to brown the garlic.  Add the tomatoes just to heat.

Toss in the pasta and reserved pasta water if needed to coat the noodles.  Add cheese.  Serve and eat with a green salad.

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