Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

Recipe from
Lidia's Italy
serves 6

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1/2 cup dry bread crumbs -- coarsely crushed
2 tablespoons capers -- drained and chopped 
2 tablespoons fresh basil -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon peperoncino flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/3 cups grated Pecorino Romano (or parmigiano)
10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes
2 plump garlic cloves -- sliced
1 pound long fusilli -- fusilli lunghi (or other pasta)

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375º 

Put the bread crumbs in a medium-sized bowl and mix the chopped capers, 1 tablespoon of chopped basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the red pepper flakes, oregano and 1/3 cup grated cheese. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of olive oil over the crumbs tossing to moisten and mix thoroughly

Rinse and dry the tomatoes and slice them in half lengthwise. Oil the baking sheet lightly with a bit of the olive oil, working over the bowl of bread crumbs, cover the cut side of each tomato half with a layer of crumb mixture. Compress the crumbs lightly so they stay on and set the tomato crumbs up on the baking sheet. Separate tomatoes as much as possible on the sheet, so all sides are exposed to the heat, drizzle with more olive oil and place in oven.

Pour 4 tablespoons olive oil in small bowl, drop in garlic slice and let steep--you'll use the infused oil for dressing the pasta.

Roast the tomatoes for 30 minutes until the crumbs are nicely browned and the halves are slightly shriveled. Remove sheet from the oven and let tomatoes cool for 15 minutes or so, then slice each one lengthwise, making two narrow wedges, or 3 or 4 if tomatoes are very large.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in 6 quarts of salted water until al dente. Heat a pasta serving bowl with a cup or so of boiling pasta water and drain. Lift pasta out with tongs, when cooked to your liking, and place in warm bowl. 

Immediately scatter with garlic-infused oil and garlic slices and toss well, top with tomato wedges and serve with additional chopped basil and grated cheese.