Have you ever butter roasted tomatoes?
I hadn’t, until very recently! The concept of “butter roasting” anything never even crossed my mind, since typically, oil is the best fat to use for roasting thanks to its high burning point.
But holy moly, the things I could say about butter roasted tomatoes. The sonnets I could (and probably will) write. Just the name sounds decadent, doesn’t it? Luckily, it’s not over-the-top decadent: the other components of the sauce are chili flakes, garlic, pasta, pasta water, and basil. Pretty straightforward, right?
This is ideal for after-work cooking, because there is very little fuss required!
Although you have to roast the tomatoes for about 40 minutes, this is definitely what I’d consider a time-saving dish. Not “time-saving” if you have somewhere to be, but time-saving if you just got home from work and don’t want to spend an hour over the stove. You feel? Just toss the tomatoes in a baking dish with some garlic, butter, chili flakes, S & P, and walk away. Do a load of laundry. Have a glass of wine. Watch an episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine. Then come back, start boiling the water for your pasta, cook the linguine, mash the tomatoes and — bam, there’s dinner!
What really helps transform this from butter roasted-tomatoes-and-pasta into a butter roasted tomato sauce is the reserved cooking water from the pasta. Believe it or not, the water actually helps thicken the sauce – not thin it out! That’s all thanks to the starches in the water that have cooked off as the pasta has boiled.
If you don’t have linguine in your pantry, don’t worry! I just love this sauce with longer, flatter pastas (such as linguine or fettuccine), but obviously spaghetti, bucattini, or any short pasta works well, too!
Pair this with a side salad, and it’s about one of the easiest, tastiest after-work dinners I’ve ever made!
Bonus: This pasta is totally small-kitchen approved! All the work is done around the oven…. No inordinately large counter space required!
- 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed and dried (enough to fill the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish)
- 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 4-5 tbsp. butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 lb. linguine
- 1 c. reserved cooking liquid
- 1 large handful basil leaves, julienned
- Parmesan, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- In a 9x13" baking dish, dump the tomatoes. Place garlic evenly throughout the dish.
- Sprinkle the top with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Dot the top with the butter.
- Roast for 35-40 minutes, until the tomatoes are bursting and bubbling.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the linguine according to package directions, about 10-12 minutes. Reserve 1 c. of the cooking liquid.
- Use a potato masher to mash the tomatoes and garlic, combining everything into a sauce. (Be careful! Wear an apron and/or don't wear white! This can get messy.)
- Strain the linguine and return to the pot.
- Pour the crushed tomatoes over the linguine and toss. Gradually add the cooking liquid until the sauce becomes your desired consistency.
- Carefully toss in the julienned basil. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- Serve in a big pasta bowl and top with loads of Parmesan