Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spaghetti With Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

Summer time is coming to an end, but that doesn't mean garden time is over just yet. Depending on your climate, there are still late summer veggies coming in and fall veggies are now in bloom. One thing that's in season right now are tomatoes. Every garden I have passed within the last few weeks is exploding with them. Several of the gals at my work have been bringing in baskets full of the beautiful red, orange and yellow gems. Today there just happened to be a large bowl of beautiful red and gold cherry tomatoes sitting there for the taking. Just glancing at there shiny skins, looking like freshly polished treasures glinting in the late after noon sun peaking through our second story window, I was inspired to make a new pasta sauce. So I snatched up a few handfuls on my way out the door.

I decided to roast them to let their sweet juices and earthy garden flavors burst from their plump little packages. Then I simmered them with a little balsamic vinegar, goat cheese and cream. I added in some fresh chopped herbs from my garden and the result was a flavor packed and fresh sauce exploding with umami. I tossed in some spaghetti and had a delicious dinner with my husband. The great thing about this sauce is - by roasting the tomatoes, you get allot of those great flavors and natural sugars to come out without having to slow simmer your sauce all day long. Add in the goat cheese for some zing along with some fresh chopped herbs and you have a savory sauce that  you can pair with pretty much any pasta of your choice. I happened to be in the mood for spaghetti, but you could do gnocchi, paperdelle, even rotini. Whatever you use it on, I hope you enjoy.

Note: If you don't have cherry tomatoes you can use any kind you like, just adjust the cooking time as needed depending on the tomato size.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30-40 minutes

Makes: about 2 cups


2 cups cherry tomatoes

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 tsp corn starch

2 tbs olive oil

Salt and Pepper - to taste

4 tbs (about 3 ounces ) goat cheese

1 tbs heavy cream

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp fresh thyme - finely chopped

1 tsp fresh rosemary - finely chopped

2 tsp fresh basil - finely chopped

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese - if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow baking dish or baking sheet lined with tin foil, toss tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place into oven and roast tomatoes until they have burst open and juices are flowing into the pan (about 15 minutes).

Place a food mill or sieve over a large pot. Pour tomatoes and juices into the strainer and push through the juices and pulp of the tomatoes. Discard the skins and anything that did not get through the strainer. Bring tomatoes to a simmer over medium low heat - stir in balsamic vinegar and all but 2 tablespoons of broth. In a small bowl, whisk corn starch into remaining 2 tablespoons of broth. Stir into sauce mixture, season with salt and pepper and let sauce simmer (stirring occasionally) until it has slightly reduced and thickened - about 10 minutes. if sauce starts to splatter while cooking, loosely cover with a lid.

While sauce is simmering, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta. Cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside - covered ( if pasta is done before your sauce).

Once sauce has reduced, add goat cheese and whisk until melted, add cream and whisk until sauce is smooth. Simmer another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in herbs, add pasta and toss together. Top with a little fresh grated Parmesan - if desired. Serve and enjoy.

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