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Author Notes: This recipe is my go-to for a quick, healthy and delicious meal on any busy weeknight. It could be served as a main entree or a side dish. I am a pasta lover so I could easily have this as a meal by itself, I also like to add shiitake mushrooms to add more texture into the dish.
The only two fresh ingredients that you need to get from the grocery store are 1 package of fresh long pasta such as Linguine, Fettucine, Tagliatelle or Spaghetti and 1 pint of cherry tomatoes and a block of Parmigiano Reggiano (small to medium size depending on how much cheese you want). If you can't get your hand on fresh pasta, no worries, you can always use the dried pasta instead. The rest of the ingredients use whatever dried herbs and seasonings you've already had in your pantry. Very simple and budget-friendly.
The key to elevate this humble is in the dried herbs. I always make sure to stock my pantry with at least these 3 staples or what I call it the holy trinity of Italian cooking: basil, oregano and parsley. Another secret but no-so-secret ingredient is good ol' granulated sugar. It enhances the natural sweetness of the cherry tomatoes while tapering down any acidity or tartness. —Emmy17
For the seasoning mixture to roast cherry tomatoes
- 1 pint fresh cherry tomatoes (halved, optional)
- 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 dried parsley
- 3-4 pieces garlic cloves, pressed and roughly minced
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon good quality red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes for added heat (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Add all ingredients except cherry tomatoes to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk and combine until a smooth paste is formed.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the tomatoes out into one layer. Pour the remaining mixture over the tomatoes.
- Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft. Lightly mash the tomatoes using fork to release more juice and until it forms a rough sauce-like consistency. Keep warm in the oven while preparing for the pasta and sauteed mushroom.
For the fresh pasta and sauteed mushroom
- 9 ounces store-bought or homemade fresh pasta (if you don't have fresh, you can substitute it with the dried one.)
- 7 pieces shiitake mushroom (wash thoroughly and drain. Trim the ends, and thinly slice)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (equa1 to 1 lemon)
- 1/4 cup grated or shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a medium stock pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add the fresh pasta and cook for about 2 minutes. If using dried pasta, cook for about 5 minutes. Remove pasta from heat and drain (reserving about 1 cup of pasta water) and transfer into a large serving bowl. Pour the roasted tomato mixture and its juice into the serving bowl with the pasta. Do not toss or mix.
- Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until soft (about 5-7 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and stir well. Turn off the heat.
- Pour the sauteed mushroom into the pasta and roasted tomato mixture. Toss sauteed musroom, cooked pasta and roasted tomato mixture until every piece is thoroughly coated. Serve warm with a generous amount of Parmigiano.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with a Smarty Pants Trick or Technique