If you’re not already outside firing up the grill, pasta is as good a way as any to get in and out of the kitchen very fast. Capellini or angel hair takes only 4 minutes to cook, so if your strategy is to minimize heat and maximize speed, these long skinny shapes will be your savior.
But this summer I’m not afraid to turn on my oven–especially when the result of doing so is baked tomatoes. After my success with the larger versions, I popped a few cherry tomatoes in the oven to let them get blistered, sweet, and caramelized. After 10 minutes or so, they burst, and the pan became saturated in their juices. As they continued to cook, the sauce thickened and became an ideal topping for a vehicle like simple chicken breasts or, in this case, pasta.
You can roast the tomatoes in advance, then toss them with the capellini, and a little bit of the pasta water when you are ready for dinner.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes (you can use regular)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound capellini
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
2 tablespoons grated parmesan (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
In a large cast iron skillet or baking dish, toss the tomatoes together with the salt, sugar, and olive oil. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have released a lot of liquid and their skins have begun to burst.
Turn the heat up to 500 degrees and cook for another 10 minutes, until the skins are blistered. Set aside to cool.
In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente (about 3 minutes). Drain and add to the pan with the tomatoes. Toss to combine and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with fresh basil and parmesan (if using), and serve immediately.