If you've got a vegetable garden of any size, you're probably getting a bit tired of dealing with the mass of tomatoes coming your way by this point. I know I am. I still can't stop myself from making a few last tomato indulgences, though. Still up is my annual batch of Honey and Lemon Tomato Salsa and one more batch of tomato sauce. Then, I think, we will have used most of the tomatoes and the rest will go for BLT's, Caprese, chopped for omelets or added to salads, stuffed and roasted. We will certainly miss them in January, but right now they are as plentiful as ants in an anthill.
... so simple. Slow cooking in a bath of olive oil, garlic, and herbs yields a mushy perfect tomato confit.
This evening's dinner is an easy treatment ... a tomato confit tossed onto a bowl of little Ditalini pasta that has been cooked with goat cheese and chicken broth to make a creamy sauce. The dish is finished with plenty of black pepper and green herbs to make a soft dish that is like a risotto in consistency. With some cheese to top it off, it's a real bowl of comfort food!
This recipe sat for a long time in my pile of 'must make' dishes. It came from a post done by Heather over at Pretty Peas way back in 2010. I have made it a few times when SB has been off doing his winter hikes or bike trips, as he is not a fan of goat cheese. I love the creamy gooey richness of the dish. I love that I can make just a little. I love how easy it is. The high quality of the cherry tomatoes coming in from the garden, availability of good goat cheese from this little farm over in Westmoreland and my need for some pasta every week or so has kicked in today.
Originally, the tomato confit was supposed to be tossed into the past, but I like using the confit as an accent topping. I also used cherry tomatoes and left the seeds in, as they are so small (and add fiber to the diet). I also jacked up the amount of herbs, as I love the flavour of chives and basil. I love that the pasta gets a hot browning up before you add the broth to cook it. It makes the pasta taste somewhat nutty and adds a real depth to the overall flavour. Yum! I love this dish!
... see what I mean? Browned and crunchy pasta!
Thank you, Heather for such a great recipe! This is a very slightly adapted recipe that mirrors Heather's pretty closely. You can see her original recipe at the link above.
Creamy Pasta with Tomato Confit and Goat Cheese
¾ c. olive oil2 pints cherry tomatoes, topped
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, small chop
1 ½ c. Ditalini pasta
3 ½ c. chicken stock
½ c. good quality goat cheese
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
Black pepper, chopped fresh chives and basil, to taste
Making the Dish:
- Heat the olive oil in a large shallow fry pan. Add the prepared tomatoes, thyme sprigs, two of the garlic cloves, and a bay leaf.
- Let the tomatoes come to a bubble, lower the heat and simmer gently until they are softened.
- Gently, press them to collapse them and release the juices. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl.
- Strain the sauce to remove some of the seeds and reserve it for another use OR add it to the tomatoes for a saucier confit.
- In another deep fry pan, melt the butter and add the onion and garlic. Wilt them and then add the dry pasta, tossing it every minute or so to brown it up a bit in the butter and juices.
- When the pasta as browned a bit, add one cup of the broth and lower the heat so the pasta simmers.
- When the first cup of broth is almost absorbed, add the second, letting the pasta continue to cook.
- When the second cup has almost absorbed, add the third cup and cook to al dente.
- Stir in the goat cheese that has been broken into small chunks and most of the Parmesan cheese. Stir to make a creamy sauce, adding the last of the chicken broth to loosen things up a bit.
- Toss the chopped fresh herbs and black pepper and taste to get the salt and pepper right.
- Serve in bowls, topped with a generous spoonful of the tomato confit and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.