baked tomato sauce

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Pasta with Baked Tomato Sauce
Adapted from The Best American Recipes 2000 via Epicurious.com

Oddly, the original recipe calls for 1/3 cup olive oil, but never tells you what to do with more than a couple tablespoons of that. I found three to four tablespoons to be just right.

Serves 4

3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound very ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound dried fusilli (corkscrew) or farfalline (butterfly) pasta
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil.

Place the tomatoes cut side up in the dish.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheeses, and garlic and toss with a fork to mix well. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the tomatoes, making sure that each cut side is well covered with the crumb mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then the final tablespoon of olive oil. Bake until the tomatoes are cooked through and starting to brown on top, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Time the pasta so it finishes cooking about the time the tomatoes are ready to come out of the oven.

The Pasta Recipe I’ve Been Coming Back To, Again and Again
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water

To make pasta dough in a food processor: Blend flour, eggs, salt, and water in processor until mixture just begins to form a ball, adding more water, drop by drop, if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Process dough for 15 seconds more to knead it. Transfer to a floured surface and let stand, covered with an inverted bowl, 1 hour to let the gluten relax and make rolling easier. (Note: I skimped on the one hour waiting this time, and it still worked out just fine.)

To make dough by hand: Mound flour on a work surface, preferably wooden, and make a well in center. Add eggs, salt, and water to well. With a fork, gently beat eggs and water until combined. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a paste, pulling in flour closest to egg mixture and being careful not to make an opening in outer wall of well. Knead remaining flour into mixture with your hands to form a dough, adding more water, drop by drop, if dough is too dry (dough should be firm and not sticky). Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with an inverted bowl and let stand 1 hour (to make rolling easier).


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