By Marissa Bognanno, Professional Chef & Zumba Instructor, and Author of THE BOOT BLOG
When Italians want to throw together a simple pasta, they’ll use fresh tomatoes as opposed to the crushed canned version, and call it a “salsa fresca,” a fresh sauce. It’s fruity and clean, and in the spring time I prefer it to the thicker, traditional sauces. I wanted to take this a step further, and really bring out the smoky, fruity flavors in the gloriously red tomatoes I bought at the market yesterday, so I called upon my new favorite cooking technique: roasting. Everything is done in 30 minutes and you have barely any clean up. Perfect for those of us who not only have tiny kitchens, but no dishwashers!
4-5 ripe vine tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp oregano
sprinkling of grated cheese
pinch black pepper
pinch peperoncino or crushed red pepper
fresh parsley (a few sprigs)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Chop the tomatoes and place them in a roasting pan covered with parchment paper. (I do this to keep from making a mess.) Pour oil on top along with remaining ingredients and give it a little toss. Bake for 30 minutes. In the meantime you can prepare whatever pasta you would like to serve it with. When the tomatoes are ready, mash them down with a fork directly in the pan, and toss the pasta on top. If it needs some moisture, you can drizzle more olive oil or add a bit of the pasta cooking liquid. Serve with a sprinkling of cheese and more black pepper.