Adam Tortosa’s Baked Pasta

IMG_5765From July 1, Adam Tortosa, 1760

Roasted Tomatoes Sauce
3 pounds tomatoes, cored and cut in half
1 onion, cut in half
2 heads of garlic, with top cut off, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt; wrapped in foil

Spread all of the above on a foil-lined baking pan and drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle (liberally) with salt, pepper, dry or fresh herbs on hand (like thyme, parsley, oregano, etc) and pepper flakes (to your taste for heat.)

Roast at 450 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the vegetables look toasty and soft.  Add a little oil over the top to help loosen the delicious golden caramelized bits sticking to the foil. Remove any really burnt pieces.

Scrape it all, including the juices, and blend or mash up all except for one head of garlic*. To extract the garlic, just squeeze it out of the skin into the rest of the mixture. Season all with salt and chopped fresh basil.

IMG_5770*you can mix the remaining garlic with melted butter, salt, grated cheese or chopped herbs, spread over bread and toast or broil to make garlic bread

Two bunches of basil, olive oil (to the consistency that looks good to you), salt, one large piece of garlic and a handful of grated hard cheese (parmesan is a good one for pesto) – grind up by hand or in a blender.  A lot of people use pine nuts, but you don’t have to.  They are pretty expensive and not totally needed.  If you want a nuttier taste and thicker texture, you can also add another nut like walnuts.

Cook at 3 minutes below whatever the directions on the box says, in salted water (it’s good to season and flavor at every step of the process)

Drain, and toss with roasted tomatoes sauce and season with more salt as needed

Layer baking dish with pasta, then cut slices of cheese of your choice (mozzarella works well), then more pasta, then more cheese, more sauce, and then a grated hard cheese (like parmesan, for example). Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Uncover and cook for 5 more minutes.

IMG_5785Take the pasta out of the oven and spoon the pesto over the top (in whatever way look good to you – get creative!) Let the pasta rest for about 5 minutes so that it’s not too runny when you serve.