Posts made in November 2011

BetsaPasta Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella & Herbs

Serves 10…This recipe will serve 10 as a main course…however my “final prep” instructions are for 5


Fresh “Champion” tomatoes from Zilnicki (see prior entry “Signs of Autumn”) or Plum tomatoes…app. 5 lbs…
(Of course you can use fresh plum tomatoes if the Champions are not available)
Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp.chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2-3/4  lb.fresh your liking (cut in 1/2″ cubes). I like to cut cold…it’s easier…and let sit to room temperature before mixing together in the final prep
Fresh White Milled Pepper (black pepper is okay)
Assorted Fresh Herbs ie Rosemary, Basil,Thyme & Oregano(about 1 tsp. each chopped and mixed together….save at least 1/2 cup TBSP of  basil for last step)
1 lb. Pasta (for 5 people)…or 2 lb.Pasta (for 10 people)


 Slice tomatoes in half, toss with garlic infused EVOO (sliced garlic that had been sitting in EVOO for 30 minutes) and place on a baking sheet. (If you want to put the fresh garlic in the oven either whole or sliced, it will roast and impart a great flavor. As well, keeping the garlic sliced or whole instead of crushed will allow you to control the amount of garlic eaten and your kitchen will also smell great for hours
Sprinkle with a little kosher salt
Place in oven for 3.5-4 hours @ 225 degrees
(Quick option: not quite the same sweet flavor…375 degrees for 45 minutes)
When tomatoes are shrunk and lightly browned…turn off heat, sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs and let sit in oven for another 20 minutes with door closed.
This short heating time period of 20 minutes will allow the herbs to absorb into the tomatoes and at the same time retain their fresh flavor.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheet.

Final prep:

Cook your favorite pasta Al Dente (firm)…toss gently with 1/2 of the roasted tomatoes…a few tablespoons of pasta water… ROOM TEMPERATURE fresh mozzarella…chiffonade of fresh basil (see bottom for “chiffonade”)…salt and pepper to taste….and Mangia Baby!

*EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Some ovens actually heat hotter than others and can effect the cooking time. Don’t overcook. Light golden color is your goal and any liquids left in the pan can be used in the final prep. 
Always remember to cook in plenty of (kosher) salted water. In this case, there is no need to add water to rinse…as the starch for this dish is paramount and we do not want to remove any by rinsing.
This dish should be served between room temperature and warm…not hot, as you don’t want the mozzarella to melt. It will help to serve on a platter as opposed to a bowl.

Don’t be shy! Comments…Questions…always welcome. See pix below

Mangia Baby! Happy Anniversary Sandy!!!

Chef Bert…ie Me

To chiffonade, place basil leaves in layers…roll together and slice lengthwise for nice long strips…
You can also log onto and search “chiffonade” for tutorial…b