Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Oreganata Pasta

Having an herb garden is the most amazing thing. Tim and I did some serious gardening this spring – we have a regular garden with tomatoes, squash, green beans, jalapenos, and potatoes.  We also have this amazing planter that runs along the garage (about 15 feet); it has perfect soil and perfect shading, and it has become my herb and flower garden. We have green onions, two types of basil, parsley, thyme, chives, sage, and even cilantro (which I despise). Every night when I’m making dinner, I get such a thrill out of walking to the back yard to snip what I need.

I’ve been visiting the garden often lately because I’ve been making a lot of Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipes. She was on the cover of Bon Appétit a couple months ago, and I made two of the recipes – the Halibut with Mango Avocado Salsa (Thanks, Karen!), and this one, and they were both so great that I bought her new cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. What I like about her style is that it’s to the point, simple, and natural. She talks about her kids a lot, which I like, and includes a significant number of vegetarian recipes for a non-vegetarian cookbook…at the same time, my very carnivorous boyfriend found plenty of options, too. I’m sure I’ll be posting more from her!

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Roasted Tomato and Anchovy Oreganata Pasta 
from Bon Appetit 

4 cups cherry tomatoes, divided
9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
1/4 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs (preferably homemade)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Large pinch dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
16 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
12 ounces spaghetti
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Small handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

  • Preheat oven to 200°. Place 2 cups tomatoes in an 8x8x2″ glass baking dish. Stir in 1 Tbsp. oil and a large pinch of salt. Roast, stirring occasionally, at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours (the longer they roast, the sweeter and more concentrated the flavor). Set aside.
  • Increase oven temperature to 400°. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Place breadcrumbs and herbs in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil over; stir until mixture resembles damp sand. Lay anchovies about 1/4″ apart on prepared sheet. Evenly pack breadcrumb mixture over; drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil. Bake until golden brown, 3-5 minutes; set anchovy oreganata aside.
  • Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
  • Meanwhile, place remaining 2 cups tomatoes in a large bowl. Crush tomatoes with your hands. Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until juices thicken, 6-7 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes.
  • Add drained spaghetti to skillet; toss to coat, adding reserved pasta water by 1/4-cupfuls if dry. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Divide among bowls. Top each with 1/4 of the anchovy oreganata.
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