This recipe reminded me of a recent discussion I followed on a blogger’s Facebook group. Someone was asking what spices/herbs everyone “had” to have on hand in their dried goods pantry. Where upon a number of food snobs came out and looked down thin noses upon the unwashed masses. With comments of “We don’t keep things like that in our kitchen”. Because you know how fresh Basil and Oregano are available at affordable prices year round in non-warm areas. It pains me to buy fresh Basil 9 months of the year. At $3.99 a bunch, well that isn’t affordable. Neither are lemons at 79 cents each. Or even fresh garlic. I prefer fresh, but after a few lousy trips to the grocery store recently, I was pulling out my freeze-dried granulated garlic (Costco of course!). Not only is it highly affordable, it smells wonderful and works perfectly in most recipes. Why did I skip fresh when shopping though? A head of garlic is 50 cents in winter. And every single head had a green sprout! Yeesh! It wasn’t fresh, it wasn’t good smelling, it was limp and heading to the compost bin. I live it up in summer and fall, but come winter, we make do. Dried spices can be a miracle when it is dark and rainy outside!
And in this recipe, I use dried herbs but also use canned tomatoes to offset the price of out-of-season fresh tomatoes.
Creamy Roasted Tomato Pasta
- 10-12 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, drained
- 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp onion powder (toasted is best)
- 4 ounces cream cheese (dairy OR vegan cream cheese)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (dairy OR vegan Parm)
- 16 ounces bow tie pasta
Preheat oven to 450°. Toss tomatoes with olive oil and pepper, spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast on top rack for about 15 minutes. Let cool a bit.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta for time as directed on package, drain.
Add slightly cooled roasted tomatoes, with any oil, to a food processor, along with the plum tomatoes, garlic, basil, onion powder and cream cheese. Process until smooth. Season to taste (you may need salt, more pepper or a pinch of sweetener if your tomatoes are not naturally sweet).
Add hot pasta back into pot, toss with sauce, heat through while pot is on turned off burner.
Serves 4 to 6.
I served the pasta with Nate’s Meatless Meatballs, baked for 10 minutes at 375°. The boys love these!