Pasta with Chèvre d’Argental and Slow-Roasted Early Girls
The sauce is prepared at room temperature, then combined with hot pasta and three-hour oven-roasted tomatoes, creating extraordinary flavor evocative of this season. Look no further for your new signature dish!
- 1 lb. organic Early Girl tomatoes, halved
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1 cup loosely packed basil, slivered
- Zest from 1 Meyer lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Black pepper, coarsely ground, to taste
- 12 oz. Chèvre d’Argental (brie can be substituted)—keep cold, then cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon quality extra-virgin olive oil (go for bright flavor)
- 1 lb. dried pasta (I prefer cornucopia shape, but penne or large shell pasta fit the bill)
- Set aside three hours for roasting. Preheat oven to 250°F. Place halved tomatoes on oiled cookie sheet, drizzle olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for three hours, keeping an eye on tomatoes. No need to turn over, but pull from oven once well-caramelized—avoid blackening. Set aside and let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine ¼ cup (remaining) olive oil, olives, basil, lemon zest, garlic, Chèvre d’Argental (large dice, will glom together, which is not a problem), salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the pasta. Cook at a rolling boil until al dente.
- Drain pasta and immediately toss in with sauce and incorporate ingredients until cheese has melted. Transfer to serving dish and gently incorporate the roasted tomatoes, as they are fairly fragile. (I simply wedge them between the prepared pasta and place the remaining on top.) Serve immediately and be prepared to suffer countless compliments.
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