The idea of Weekday sauce was to be able to make tomato sauce any night of the week without relying on a jar to make pasta. Of course we normally use cans for our sauce because tomatoes suck most of the year, but August is the one time I want to make my tomato sauce fresh, but usually, it takes a lot of time and effort. So how do you make a fresh version of Weekday Sauce? You roast sweet cherry tomatoes. This isn’t a dish you make all year round, that's what weekday sauce is for. This the pasta to make right now, in August/September when you can get the freshest and sweetest cherry tomatoes.
Serves 2 (Double Ingredients for 4 people)
1/2 Lb of Spaghetti or your favorite pasta
1 Pint of Fresh Cherry Tomatoes (ideally from a farmers market or locally grown)
4 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 Cup, Parmesan Cheese
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a pot of salty water up to pasta cooking temp (at least 200 degrees or 90 degrees celsius)
In an 8x8 pyrex baked dish or something similar, add the cherry tomatoes, the garlic cloves still in their paper, a few sprigs of fresh basil, salt, pepper and enough olive oil to coat everything well and mix it all together. Try to bury the basil under the tomatoes so they don’t burn.
Roast the tomatoes for 20-30 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally, until they pop open, soften and release a lot of their juices, the garlic should be soft as well.
Then remove from the oven, let cool for a minute and then take the garlic out of their paper, remove the browned basil if you can and then with a potato masher, mash the tomatoes and garlic until it forms as smooth of a sauce as you can get. If you don’t like it rustic like this, feel free to run through a food mill or blend it smooth. But that is unnecessary in this recipe I find.
Transfer the sauce to a pan that you will eventually marry the sauce with the pasta in. Bring to the stove and then drop in your pasta. Cook the pasta 1-2 minutes before the box says to for al dente. But let you be the judge of that by tasting after about 8 minutes to check for doneness. While the pasta is cooking, start to cook the sauce on medium-high heat. If it reduces a bit, add some of the starchy pasta water. Once the pasta is ready, transfer it directly to the sauce and toss and stir the pasta in the sauce to finish cooking. Add more pasta water if needed. Once the pasta is cooked perfectly, add more fresh basil, parmesan cheese and then serve.
Plate however you enjoy plating pasta. Enjoy a quick, fresh version of weekday sauce in the summertime.
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