Friday, September 23, 2016

Slow Roasted Tomatoes (And a Pasta to Use Them In)

For assorted not-particularly-interesting reasons, I've been finding myself with an excess of tomatoes these days.  Roasting (followed by freezing) has always been my go-to method for using up extra tomatoes, but recently I've discovered the beauty of super-duper-slow roasting them.  Behold:
Not only is the flavor beautifully concentrated, but the skins pull off easily when you're done.  (I don't know about you, but I personally refuse to do that blanch-shock-peel thing with raw tomatoes.  Ever.) As has been my theme in the kitchen over the last few months, these are absurdly easy to make. Halve the tomatoes, then cut off the stem bit. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss into a 225°F oven.
After 8 hours (that is not a typo), your tomatoes will be good and roasted.
When they come out of the oven, I toss them into a container with any juices from the pan and let them rest and steam for a bit.  When they're cool enough to handle, the papery skins will pull away with little or no effort.  This is pretty much the coolest thing ever, right?
From here you can use them for a million different things, or just throw in the freezer for winter.  The random freezer- and pantry-clearing dish I've been using them in lately, though, is a pasta with chorizo and greens.  I had a tube of chorizo (the cheap kind you can get at WinCo or other not-fancy grocery stores) in the freezer that I thawed and browned off.
I rough-chopped the tomatoes and added them to the pan, then cooked for a bit over medium-high heat. 
From here I added homemade chicken stock to get things to a bit of a saucier place.  
I let this simmer over very low heat until it has the texture I'm looking for.  
The sauce is seriously delicious at this point and could be considered done, but I like more protein in my meals, so I add chopped thigh meat from a couple rotisserie chickens.
After stirring to combine, you can adjust the consistency with more chicken stock until it's right where you want it... (I would also add some Parmesan here if I wasn't feeding lactose-intolerant people... Instead I just add some at the table...)
For the greens, I used arugula the first time and spinach the second, and they were both delicious.  My palate prefers arugula, but I have spinach around more often, so I'll probably always just go with what's on hand.  The rest is just stirring...  
So easy, and so very good.   
Seriously, though.  Go make those tomatoes.  You can thank me later.


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