Accidental Vegetarian: Rustic Pasta

Eating vegetarian appeals to me on many levels: It’s healthy and lighter generally, and, as an animal lover I do struggle with eating mammals at times. Rob and I consciously buy from local farmers where possible. I want to know where my meat came from, that it was raised with care and an eye to it’s quality of life, and without antibiotics and hormones  But bacon is so damned delicious and my resolve to eat less meat fades in the light of a frigid Ottawa winter. A steak cooked medium-rare and served up in a Thai coconut curry sauce or a pork and green chile stew is just that more comforting and soul sustaining than a tofu stirfy or portabello burger, in the grip of a -32 windchill. So, when I stumble across a recipe that coats the mouth with such satisfying, savoury richness and flavour and delivers that feeling of being sated, sleepy and happy AND it is vegetarian, I am very happy.

This recipe was shown to my daughter Hannah by her friend, Bridget (Hi, Bridget!) when they were in their late teens.

Rustic Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic and Thyme

1 sweet onion, medium chop
2 pints of cherry tomatoes. A mix of varieties is nice. Buy the sweetest ones you can.
2-3 large cloves of garlic, sliced thin (I use a hand held mandoline)
A glug of good quality olive oil. I use Frantoia (alla Mario :))
A couple of sprigs of thyme, remove stems. You can use any woody herb on hand such as Rosemary or sage. Lightly chop to bruise herb.
Salt and pepper
Rustic pasta like garganelli
Parmesan or Pecorino for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss onion, tomatoes (halve any large ones), garlic and thyme with a good glug of olive oil (don’t skimp, it’s a large part of the finished sauce), salt and pepper to taste. Roast in oven for about 40 minutes. Tomatoes should have  blistered and lightly charred skins. Turn oven off and leave to keep warm. Cook pasta. Stir tomato sauce and serve on top of pasta. Sprinkle with fresh grated cheese. You can easily adjust this recipe to serve as many people as you like.

Click HERE for a printable version of this recipe.




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