September 13, 2009

hosting presto pasta nights: spaghetti with oven-roasted tomatoes and garlic

After a long absence from blogging I am thrilled to be back and hosting Presto Pasta Nights this week. PPN is a weekly pasta blogging event created by the delightful Ruth Daniels of Once Upon a Feast.

If this is your first time participating in PPN, the guidelines for submitting a dish couldn't be any simpler:

1. Blog about a pasta dish (it doesn't have to be traditional Italian type pasta, as long as it has some sort of noodle in it) and include a link to Presto Pasta Nights and to this blog.

2. Send me an email (the DOT sweetkitchen AT yahoo DOT ca), copying Ruth (Ruth AT 4EveryKitchen DOT com), with a link to your post by midnight Thursday September 17. If you can, please include a jpeg or other image file of your dish in your email.

3. Check back here on Friday evening for the roundup and some delicious pasta inspiration for the weekend!

My contribution this week is from Biba Caggiano's fantastic cookbook Italy Al Dente, which focuses on pasta, risotto, gnocchi, polenta and soup. Her recipes are always authentic and delicious and, if you're not familiar with Biba, this cookbook is a great place to start.

You may have noticed that the tomatoes are finally here and they're absolutely gorgeous! When my mom brought over a lovely basket of her home-grown tomatoes I jumped at the opportunity to make spaghetti with oven-roasted tomatoes and garlic with her bounty. Everything in the sauce, other than the capers, is from her garden!

You will need several hours to complete this recipe but it is virtually all walk-away time while the tomatoes and garlic are roasting in a low oven. Oh, and you may want to roast a few extra tomatoes while you are at it because I couldn't resist popping them like candy, they were that sweet!

Spaghetti with oven-roasted tomatoes and garlic
FromItaly Al Denteby Biba Caggiano

serves 4 to 6

1.5 kg (approximately 3 pounds) ripe tomatoes, sliced
4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled
salt to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
hot red pepper flakes to taste
450 gr (approximately 1 pound) spaghetti

Preheat oven to 250°F. Place sliced tomatoes and garlic cloves on 2 baking sheets lined with lightly oiled parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Bake until shrivelled and dry, approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool then roughly chop.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over low heat and add diced tomatoes and garlic, capers, parsley and hot pepper. Heat through.

Cook pasta according to package directions and toss with sauce.


  1. wow they wont burn after 3 hours! sounds fantastic. at which temperature do they cook in the oven?

  2. TeaLady - It is really really good. You can always count on Biba!

    radha - I put them in at 250F (about 120C) and left them in for longer than the suggested time and they were fine - they just dried out a bit too much but rehydrated when they were warmed up in the oil. You really can walk away from this for a few hours and as an extra bonus when you come back your kitchen will smell amazing!

  3. Good pictures, thanks for sharing it.

  4. You did an amazing job hosting! This pasta dish looks delicious. Oven-roasted tomatoes really bring out the depth of their flavor.