Hello, friends! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was mellow but with a giant menu that kind of spanned the entire weekend. Should you have experienced something similar, you might be feeling some cooking fatigue, and your fridge might be scarily empty. Mine certainly is, but I’m avoiding the grocery store. Welcome to the Post-Thanksgiving Scaries, where it’s totally acceptable to subsist off of leftovers for a week straight. Stuffing for breakfast anyone?
If your turkey supply is finally dwindling, here’s an easy recipe to help you ease back into things: Spaghettini with Tomatoes Confit. “Confit” is just a nicer way to say “cooking something in fat,” which just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Tomatoes and garlic get a healthy splash of olive oil and slow roast in the oven until soft and juicy. This deliciousness becomes a simple sauce with a little pasta water and parmesan cheese. Top with fresh basil if you have it, or don’t. Consider this permission to be a little lazy for a while.
- 1 pound spaghettini (or pasta of your choice)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- ½ cup olive oil
- crushed red pepper
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- fresh basil for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 250°F.
On a baking sheet, combine the tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and crushed red pepper. Toss so everything is well coated. Cook in the oven until the tomatoes are soft and some have burst open, about an hour and a half.
When the tomatoes are nearly ready, heat four-six quarts of water in a large pot over high heat. Lightly season the water with salt– about a teaspoon or so. The parmesan we’ll add later is very salty, so we don’t need to go crazy just yet. Bring to a rolling boil.
Cook the pasta one minute short of the suggested al dente time. Reserve two cups of the water and set aside. Drain the rest out, leaving the pasta in it’s original pot. Reduce the heat to medium. At this point you can remove the garlic from the tomato mixture (or not!). Transfer the tomatoes with all of the oil and juices to the pasta. Add one cup of cooking water and the parmesan cheese. Stir constantly until the pasta is cooked through, the cheese has melted and the sauce is creamy, about three minutes. I like to use tongs for this and lift while stirring to aerate the pasta– it will help the sauce to thicken. Stop just short of alfredo-like texture. The pasta will continue to absorb the sauce after you plate, so it’s always wise to serve it just a little wet. You still have another cup of pasta water if you need a splash. Top with fresh basil and serve with extra cheese that no one will need, but everyone will want!