Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pasta Ponza

I think it's safe to say that my favorite pasta dishes are those that have little to no sauce at all. I particularly like those that involve fresh, in season vegetables whose natural sweetness is more than enough to provide the pasta with ample flavor. I was excited to find this recipe in my new Giada de Laurentes cookbook Giada at Home since it was different than any non-sauced pasta than I've ever tried.

If you love light tasting pastas, you will love this dish. By roasting the tomatoes, their natural sweetness is concentrated and captured inside, and the melted pecorino romano cheese provides a creaminess without being heavy. Pair with a nice glass of chardonnay for a perfect weeknight meal. Give it a try, you'll be glad you did.

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Pasta Ponza

1 12 ounce carton red cherry tomatoes
1 12 ounce carton yellow or orange cherry tomatoes
1/2 medium yellow onion cut into strips
1/4 cup capers rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup reg bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8x8 glass baking dish.
Add the tomatoes, onions, capers, salt and pepper to the prepared baking dish.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil.
Toss to coat.
In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
Stir to combine and sprinkle on top of the tomato mixture.
Drizzle olive oil on top of the breadcrumbs.
Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
While the tomatoes are roasting, boil the pasta for 8-10 minutes, or until al dente. Reserve a cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl.
Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the pasta.
Top with the grated pecorino romano cheese.
Toss until thoroughly combined. If the sauce seems too thick, add some pasta water to thin.
Serve with fresh grated pecorino romano cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Source: Adapted from Giada de Laurentes' Giada at Home

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