A simple meatless Monday macaroni dish inspired by any number of recipes, this gratin is pretty adaptable and my favorite addition, salt packed anchovies when I can find them, but not totally necessary. Fresh seasoned bread crumbs, a blend of good cheeses and additional,fresh herbs and cheese over the tomatoes before adding the crumbs gives an extra boost of flavor if you don't have the Tuscan flavored oil. Try a drizzle of olive oil over the hot pasta before tossing with the gratin. * Optional, toss tiny perline mozzarella into the hot pasta before adding the gratin.
grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
EVOO, I used very flavorful Tuscan herb blend for the tomatoes
Additional EVOO for drizzling over crumbs and pasta
heaping cup fresh breadcrumbs
capers, rinsed, dried and rough chopped
thyme leaves, minced
fresh rosemary, minced
fresh oregano, minced
heaping tablespoon parsley, minced
garlic cloves, minced
*optional lemon zest
3 heaping tablespoons
grated gruyere cheese,
Salt and pepper
Fresh Basil, torn for garnish
*optional tiny perline mozarella
pasta, my pasta of choice was strozzapreti, but you can use whatever tubular pasta that you have on hand.
salt packed anchovies, rinsed and cleaned, soaked in water for about 20 minutes, dried and minced, add to crumbs
In a bowl add the bread crumbs and the herbs, capers, cheeses, garlic, season with salt and pepper.
Place halved tomatoes in a gratin dish or baking dish that has been brushed with some of the olive oil, add tomatoes, the rest of the oil, gently toss the tomatoes and season lightly with salt and pepper. This is where you can toss in some of the fresh herbs and a dusting of cheese, adds another layer of flavor.
Sprinkle the crumbs over the tomatoes and drizzle with more olive oil and a little more parmesan. Bake in 375° (convection) until golden. Pour hot pasta into a heated bowl; add the gratin toss with fresh basil and a touch more oil if you like.