I hope you’ll stop by Sunday’s Best to share your creative inspiration with us.
Tis the season for abundant, big and juicy tomatoes. Having just bought 60 pounds of tomatoes at the farmers market last week I decided to try something different.
I love anything roasted. . . .it is a great way to bring out the flavors of food. So I decided to prepare Roasted Tomato and Pancetta Spaghetti for our guest.
What is the difference between Roasting and Baking?
Well, they are almost identical! Baked refers to baking leavened items….items that need “puffing up” or rise during the cooking process. Roasting is used for less “empty space” food …i.e. meats and vegetables. It’s the process of transferring heat from the surface of the food to their interior. Roasting is also typically done at a higher temperature.
I have a tendency to go overboard when guests are coming! I sure did at our last dinner party, talk about going overboard, I prepared 3 different appetizers and 4 different main dishes. I did so much prep work that my index finger (controls the chef”s knife) swelled up and hurt like h..l the whole week. At 64 I guess arthritis as set in.
I decided to bake the tomato sauce which allowed me to spend more time with my guests. I’ve become addicted to this recipe because it is easy and oh so very good. Prep time is minimal…
and then their popped in the oven for about an hour.
One of the food prep steps is de-seeding the tomatoes…the gadget I used was an….
apple corer. Just about everyone has one and it works great. Just stick the end in, twirl around in the seed pockets and scoop out the seeds. Works great!
One of the things I liked the best about this recipe is that it’s not a heavy tomato sauce and very fresh tasting.
Baked Tomato and Pancetta Spaghetti
Canal House Cooking
Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, Pancetta
3 ounces diced pancetta or bacon
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pasta
2 anchovy fillets or anchovy paste
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (I used a fresh baked sandwich baguette coarsely ground in my food processor)
4 tomatoes, tops sliced off, seeds scooped out
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
small handful fresh chopped thyme or basil leaves
salt & pepper
8 ounces spaghetti
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown till crisp the pancetta or bacon in a skillet (cast iron plan works great). Using a slotted spatula lift the pancetta/bacon out of the skillet leaving the rendered fat in the skillet.
Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the anchovies and using a wooden spoon mash the anchovies until they dissolve (or use anchovy paste).
Add the bread crumbs and cook stirring often until golden.
Put the cut side up tomatoes in a roasting pan and drop the sliced garlic into the tomato cavities. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Next overfill the bread crumbs into and top of the tomatoes pushing inside the cavities. Sprinkle the herbs on top and drizzle 4 tablespoons of olive oil over all. Roast the tomatoes in the oven until they are soft but do not collaspe (approximately 1 hour).
Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water to your liking. While draining the pasta reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and add to the roasted tomato pan. Stir into remaining tomato juices and bits of bread crumbs also adding a little olive oil and toss with the pasta.
Plate the pasta onto individual plates topping with a tomato/pancetta