Orecchiette pasta with roasted tomatoes / con pomodori arrostiti  

Orecchiette pasta with roasted tomatoes / Orecchiette con pomodori arrostiti

“A delightfully delicious pasta recipe from Puglia which involves roasting the sauce instead of cooking it in a pan. This recipe for orecchiette pasta with roasted tomatoes comes from Bari in Puglia and is sometimes also called ‘alla Barese’. Since orecchiette are quintessentially Apulian, they are the perfect pasta partner for this sauce. However, this recipe can also be made with penne, other short pasta or even with long pasta if you prefer.” Jacqueline Debono

Credit: Adapted from the website of Jacqueline Debono at: https://www.the-pasta-project.com/orecchiette-pasta-with-roasted-tomatoes/

Ingredients

  • 400 g orecchiette pasta, homemade is better or shop bought fresh pasta is good
  • 250 g frozen broad beans defrosted (if using fresh broad beans de-pod them first)
  • 35 cherry tomatoes cut in half (use red & yellow if you can)
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 10 g fresh basil chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 125 g of breadcrumbs
  • 50 g vegetarian pecorino finely grated
  • 50 g ricotta salata grated
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • -3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin

Method

  1. Start by filling a large stock pot with 3 to 4 litres of water and bring to the boil.
  2. Blanch the broad beans. Place a bowl of tap water in a fridge to cool 1 hour before blanching the beans. Plunge the beans into a pan of fast boiling, salted water and simmer for 2 minutes, then drain and using a slotted spoon transfer them to the cooled water from the fridge. Wait up to 2 minutes for the beans to cool then using a slotted spoon transfer them to a bowl. Pop the beans out of their skins.
  3. Put the onion, broad beans, garlic, some chopped basil leaves, oregano and tomatoes into a large bowl add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil into the bowl and mix with a spoon to coat the sauce ingredients. Transfer to a deep oven dish (tomatoes cut side up) and sprinkle the tomatoes with breadcrumbs and grated pecorino.
  4. Roast in a pre-heated oven at 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas 4 for about 30 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, cook the pasta. Add 1 tbsp of salt to the boiling water and add the pasta stirring occasionally. Cook pasta following the packet instructions (about 5 – 8 minutes if using fresh pasta).
  6. Drain the pasta through a colander and add it to the oven dish once the tomatoes are ready and after removing the garlic cloves.
  7. Mix all the ingredients together well and serve into warm bowls with grated ricotta salata (or pecorino) and a few more chopped basil leaves.
  8. Recipe Note:
  9. Once the pasta is mixed with the sauce and you have sprinkled it with grated cheese, you can put the dish in the oven or under the grill to make the top crispy. This dish can also be eaten tepid or cold, making it a wonderful summer recipe.
  10. If you can’t find ricotta salata cheese, you can either use an aged feta or just more pecorino.

Eryl and Tony have cooked this meal and here is what they thought about it:

20180923_150439Hi John,

Mission accomplished!

Should have used fresh broad beans instead of frozen but Aberdare is not exactly a chef’s paradise! The dish turned out very well- easy to prepare, very aromatic and was thoroughly enjoyed by us all. A nice change!

Attached are some photos of the finished product.

Thanks for sending it. Eryl x

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