This delicious easy pasta recipe is adapted from Lidia Bastianich. She is a great cook and her book, Lidia Cooks
From the Heat of Italy, is fantastic. It is divided into different regions of Italy and the different type of food that each region is eating. This little gem of a recipe roasts the tomatoes and gives great flavor to them and is forgiving if the tomatoes are not the perfect summer variety.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs, I like Contadina
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta pot
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
½ cup pecorino, freshly grated, plus more for passing
Toss the cherry-tomato halves in a large bowl with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the bread crumbs, salt, and red pepper flakes; toss well to coat the tomatoes evenly. Pour the tomatoes onto a parchment-lined sheet, and spread them apart in a single layer. Bake until the tomatoes are shriveled and lightly caramelized (but not dried out), about 25 minutes. You can now transfer to a large pasta bowl.
You can do the first step in advance and set aside.
When ready to cook the pasta, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, I used thin spaghetti.
Cook until al dente.
When the pasta is al dente, lift it from the water, drain for a moment, and drop it into the pasta bowl with the tomatoes, add a 1/2 cup of hot pasta water. Toss and garnish with fresh cut basil.