penne with roasted grape tomatoes and broccoli

Slow-roasting tomatoes requires a level of patience that I do not posses. Since smaller tomatoes roast faster, whenever I can’t shake the idea, I just crank up the heat of the oven a little higher than most recipes suggest, and roast grape or cherry tomatoes. The ones I used for this penne with broccoli were probably only in the oven for an hour, or an hour in a half, at about 300 degrees, and they were delicious. Tossed with penne, broccoli florets, and feta, with some olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, they made for a pleasing visual and gastronomical experience.

IMG_0740

Preparing the tomatoes is easy; waiting for them to fully cook is the hard part.

Method

Pre-heat your oven to anywhere between 225 and 300, depending on how long you anticipate cooking the tomatoes. (At 225, fully roasting can take 3 hours)

Slice your grape or cherry tomatoes in half, and place cut-side up on a baking sheet.

Drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and place in the oven. You can add some garlic cloves too.

Roast until they are blackened at the edges, or until you can’t stand not to eat them any longer.

For the broccoli, chop into florets and set aside

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Add the penne, stir, and cook until almost al dente. Then add the broccoli. You want to wait until the pasta is almost done cooking, but not quite done, so that you don’t end up with over cooked pasta. The broccoli will only need a minute or two. Drain the water, reserving a little.

Toss the penne and broccoli with the tomatoes and some crumbled feta. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water if you think the mixture is too dry. Then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but be careful not to add too much vinegar; you don’t need much. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste.

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