I should say: high maintenance tomato basil pasta.
Because that is definitely what this is.
It’s easily the BEST tomato basil pasta I’ve ever had, but yes… it’s high maintenance.
Technically, it’s going to take you two whole hours to make. Yes, two! It’s not a huge deal because those two hours are mostly hands off.
But it’s dreamy. It’s a treat. A dinner treat!
Instead of pasta and chopped or burst tomatoes, I do basil oil and slow roasted tomatoes.
Major flavor players.
And tons of freshly grated parm, of course.
Let me tell you that this recipe works overtime. It does double duty, maybe even more.
First, I’m still mid-moment with slow roasted tomatoes because they are so good. You can make the tomatoes ahead of time – or make them for another recipe (like my farro!) and save extras for this pasta. Or just make a huge batch on a Sunday to keep you going all week.
Even though they do take two hours, you can make them while you do laundry, schedule your meals for the week or watch a Sex and The City marathon and whimper that the show is 20 years old. (I mean, HOW?!)
You can also obviously make the basil oil ahead of time. It’s pretty easy to do, makes a bunch and is incredible on salads or garlic bread too.
The shade is such a gorgeous, vibrant green. It seriously tastes wonderful drizzled on tomatoes or zucchini. It’s a delicious add in for a dressing or marinade. Basically, you will love it!
We should probably discuss the pasta itself. Cook some whole wheat spaghetti or bucatini or fettuccine, whatever your noodle of choice is. You’re going to toss the hot pasta with a bit of basil oil. It’s so pretty and actually, more striking to the eye than pesto because it’s not chunky. So it will turn your noodles a lovely shade of green.
That means HEALTH FOOD right?
Toss some cheese in there while you’re at it so it gets all melty and wonderful. I like to throw in minced garlic too. The warm noodles tend to take away some of the garlic bite, but this is a personal choice. You gotta love the garlic.
Next, you add in the slow roasted tomatoes. A few more herbs, like torn fresh basil. Lots of extra parmesan and just keep tossing.
If you think about it, the pasta is really easy and doesn’t consist of that many ingredients! Just basil oil, tomatoes, cheese and herbs. But when we actually make all the ingredients, it’s a labor of love and one that truly tastes delicious.
Very very very into it.
Tomato Basil Pasta
Yield: 4 people
2 hrs 30 mins
This tomato basil pasta is a labor of love! Made with slow roasted tomatoes, basil oil and tons of parmesan, it’s ridiculously full of flavor.
slow roasted tomatoes
- 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups tightly packed sweet basil leaves
- 1 cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti noodles
- 3 to 4 tablespoons basil oil, or more if you wish!
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 pints slow roasted tomatoes
- freshly shaved parmesan cheese, for garnish
- a few fresh basil leaves, for topping
slow roasted tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the cherry tomatoes on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic, sugar, salt, thyme and toss well. Roast for 1.5 to 2 hours, tossing every 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are super caramely and shriveled and sweet.
P.These keep great in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days if you have extra!
Bring a pot of water to a boil to blanch the basil. Prepare a bowl of ice water next to it. Once boiling, add the basil to the pot and cook for 10 seconds. Remove it and immedaitely place it in the ice bath. Leave it in there for a few minutes to make sure it is cold, then remove it and squeeze excess liquid from the leaves. Chop the basil into pieces
Place the basil in a high powered blender or food processor. Add the olive oil and salt and puree until the oil is smooth and green. It may be frothy, so let the oil sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain it through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the basil bits. Ues a spoon to push any oil through the sieve.
At this point you can use the oil right away or store it in the fridge for a week!
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions. Once it’s finished, drain the water and place the pasta in a large bowl. Toss immediately with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the basil oil (more if you wish!) and the garlic. Toss in the parmesan cheese.
Stir in the tomatoes (and any extra oil/juice that may be on the pan). Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper if you need it. Toss in some extra cheese and basil leaves. Serve immediately!
Keeping the whole bowl to myself, thank you very much.