Simple and super. This pasta with roasted tomatoes, chilli & garlic is perfect for a speedy taste of Tuscany
“Aglio is garlic in Italian, so aglione means ‘lots of garlic’, referring to the flavour of the dish. Traditionally this sauce is made from peeled plum tomatoes cooked with garlic cloves, served over thick strands of pici.
However, we like our version, which takes very little time to throw together; the tomatoes roast as you prepare the pasta and the combination is heavenly. You can serve the sauce with fresh tagliatelle or pappardelle, or dried shell-shaped pasta is good as it collects the sauce.
Don’t be alarmed by the amount of olive oil. This will be the sauce when combined with the sweet juices from the tomatoes and the garlic.”
• 1kg cherry tomatoes, halved around the equator
• 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 5 garlic cloves, (skin on)
• a little fresh red chilli, finely sliced, to taste or 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
• freshly ground black pepper
• 1 quantity fresh pappardelle or 320g dried pasta
• handful basil leaves, roughly torn if large
• 25g grated parmesan
1 Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put the tomatoes cut side up in a roasting tray and pour over the oil.
2 Put the garlic cloves between the tomatoes and any tomato stems if you have them, as they will flavour the oil.
3 Scatter with dried chilli (if using – add fresh chilli later on), season with salt and pepper, and roast for 15–20 minutes or until the tomatoes just start to collapse and brown.
4 After 10 minutes stir the fresh chilli (if using fresh instead of dried) into the oil (fresh chilli might burn if put on top of the tomatoes at the beginning).
5 Meanwhile, cook the pasta to coincide with the end of the cooking time for the tomatoes.
6 When the tomatoes are cooked, remove the tray from the oven and use the flat of a wooden spoon to squeeze the soft garlic out of their skins.
7 Mix this gently with the tomatoes and discard the garlic skins as well as the tomato stems. Pour the drained pasta into the hot tray.
8 Add the basil leaves and use a pair of tongs to combine, then serve straight away in warmed bowls, scattered with the Parmesan.
Recipe courtesy of Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi, extracted from Tuscany. Photography by Helen Cathcart © Hardie Grant