Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Another Super Simple Pasta Dinner for Fall: Spaghetti with Roasted Vegetables, Tomatoes and Cranberries

It all starts with the best, most perfect late-season heirloom tomato you can find. In our case this one was plucked from the plant a couple of days before the first hard frost. You'll need a 1 1/2 lb. whopping specimen like this or the equivalent amount in smaller tomatoes.

Chop the tomatoes coarsely and cook over a medium heat - with 1 chopped onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, a couple of dried red chilies (torn into pieces) and a handful of fresh herbs (we mixed basil and oregano) - in plenty of good olive oil until thick and soupy. Season aggressively with salt and add a pinch or two of sugar to balance out the tomatoes' acidity. For a deeper flavor add up to 1/2 cup wine or vegetable stock while simmering the sauce.

While the tomatoes are cooking, and your pasta cooking water is being brought to a boil, roast at 425 degrees F. in the oven, about 4 cups chopped broccoli and 1 large red onion. This is the easiest step of all: toss veggies with olive oil and salt and black pepper and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. They'll need around 15 minutes in the oven and it's a good idea to stir once during cooking time. After removing from the oven, toss the roasted veggies with a handful of dried cranberries; the residual heat while soften the fruit.

Now it's time to combine the tomato sauce with 1 lb. of cooked pasta. Save about 1/4 cup of the salted pasta cooking water and add it along with the tomato sauce.

Add the roasted veggies and cranberries as well and toss in the pan over a low flame. Serve the pasta in large wide bowls as an easy entree, with a side salad and cheese plate.

You don't need to re-heat the leftovers either, as this pasta is quite tasty served cold as well!

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