Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Orecchiette With Almost-Fresh Tomato and Herb Sauce

Every year at this time I find myself wanting to put as much "summer" on the table as possible.  When it comes to tomatoes, I measure each dish's ability to possibly utilize the grocery store tomatoes of winter.  While I think this one might hold up, I know it won't be as good.  Therefore, we are going to enjoy it several more times before these little tomato "gems" disappear from the local market.  This is a simple, almost fresh, sauce that depends on fresh herbs to make it shine.  It is easily doubled (just don't double the roasting time).  The slight release of the tomato juices mixed with the olive oil and last minute addition of fresh lemon juice creates the perfect sauce.  It is best served at room temperature and will tote well to a late summer picnic.

 Orecchiette (little ears) is a bowl-shaped pasta that is excellent for capturing sauces.  If it isn't available, try the small sea-shell pasta or a short tubular pasta.

Cherry Tomato and Fresh Herb Sauce for Pasta

1 pint of mixed cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper

Fresh basil leaves
Lemon, juice and a grating of zest
Sea salt

Orecchiette, or pasta of your choice, prepared according to package directions.  I used about 5 ounces with this amount of sauce.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1.  Toss the whole cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme leaves and a grating of salt and pepper.  Place into an oven-proof, nonreactive pan and roast for 15 to 20 minutes--just until the skins start to split.  Remove from oven and place into a bowl.
2.  Scatter freshly chopped basil leaves, lemon juice from half a lemon (or more if you like), a little of the zest and a sprinkling of sea salt into the tomatoes and mix well.
3.  Mix all into the orecchiette (or a pasta of your choice) and leave at room temperature if serving soon.  If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before serving.



  1. Bonnie,
    This sounds wonderful. I started adding lemon to sauces such as this and what a wonderful difference!

    Summer is winding down. Cooler here so I am making Beef and Barley Stew!


  2. Very nice and very seasonal-enjoy:@)
    PS-love your new header!

  3. Looks and sounds great! Thanks so much.

  4. your food foto's are always beautiful and I am thinking taste as good as they look

  5. I am making this this weekend; love Orecchiette; and they are perfect with those tiny tomatoes; mine did real well this year and so did the Basil. Thanks for keeping the summer going.

  6. There's nothing I don't like about this..Especially w/ the little bowls:)

  7. How pretty this is! I love cooking with orecchiette and like it better than the small shells, it is smoother. also such a luscious header!

  8. What a great dish! Sounds absolutely mouth watering good!

  9. That looks light and refreshing! I think I even have some of that pasta. Cant believe summer is winding down so quick.

  10. It looks so fresh! I love dishes with simple ingredients.

  11. Oh my gosh that looks so good!

  12. I love simple pasta dishes...with the freshest ingredients. and btw that tart in your new header looks fantastic!

  13. mmmmm, looks so good! Will have to look for the pasta, have not heard of this one.

  14. That is as beautiful as I am sure it is delicious, Bonnie!! All my favorite flavors, too. Oh, yes... tail end of summer... blessings ~ tanna

  15. I had the ingredients for a tomato pie and I was tied up ar work and shared the instructions with my husband so that he could back the pie. I'm not sure what he did to those tomatoes but YUK!!! We are taking a tomato break.

  16. I can never get enough summer tomatoes and could eat them everyday of my life. Love the little orecchiette pasta. Summer in a bowl.

  17. I just love this time of year, and the rush to use all this fresh goodness now. Don't you just love all the great names and shapes of pasta! (And your new design is very classy.)

  18. Thalnk you for doing tonight's menu planning for me!

  19. Great! I JUST picked about 50 little cherry tomatoes and will do this for tonight. I love the simplicity.

    Sending fond thoughts,


  20. I didn't know that was what orecchiette looked like -I think I call that pasta something else. It looks delicious, and summer is winding down, isn't it?

  21. That pasta dish sounds YUMMY... We are getting some fresh homegrown tomatoes now --after I fussed about not getting them earlier in the summer. Recently, they have been so good

    Thanks for the recipe.

  22. Oh, this looks and sounds wonderful. I grow basil in a little pot on my windowsill, so I have that year round, but as far as the tomatoes, like you, I think they are about best right now. Nothing like fresh, is there?

    Thanks for sharing,

  23. Perfect for our Wednesday salad. I can hardly wait.

  24. Orcchiette is one of my favorites, I mean it is only the shape that is different but it is fun to say. Your salad looks wonderful by the way.

  25. Winter tomatoes absolutely pale (miserably) in comparison to summer tomatoes! This is the perfect dish to enjoy them!

  26. I love all kinds of pasta dishes but I have to say my favorites are those they are light yet so flavorful and this is definitely one of those! Love the almost fresh tomato sauce:)

  27. I have everything I need to make this dish!!

  28. Summertime in a bowl! I wished I'd planted some cherry tomatoes this year - I just love them roasted like this.


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