Fall is firmly entrenched here in Ottawa. The calendar says so and so says the frosty nights. My tomato plants have given their last gasp and I am grateful for their offerings and sacrifice.
As the remaining soldiers ripen on the counter, I eventually take the most red and juicy and press them into service. Yesterday's roasting was a combination of Romas, San Marzanos and cherry tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes stay whole. A dribble of olive oil. Salt and pepper. 300ºF for 2 hours. Works like a charm. Often I just lay them out in a ziplock bag after and freeze them.
The Autumn issue of LCBO Food and Drink has a classic recipe for Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe in its 30-Minute Marvels feature by Kristen Eppich. I saw it yesterday while flipping the pages, but I wanted more than 'macaroni and cheese for grown-ups'. Not one for following recipes anyway, I treated it as inspiration for my own pasta dish.
In the spirit of being free and easy in the kitchen, this recipe has no specific measurements. I just go by feel. It's pretty easy to make and 30 minutes might actually be a stretch. I was the only one dining in last night so it was dinner for one. Dining alone doesn't have to mean tea and toast. I dare you.
Play away and use lots of garlic. And cheese too.
Go fetch yourself a nice glass or wine and turn on the dinner music. Maybe you're dining alone but you're doing it in style.
PASTA WITH SAUTÉED ONIONS, GARLIC AND ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES
Inspired by millions.
Cooked spaghetti noodles for one
Cooking onion, finely diced
Salt and Pepper
Oven-roasted cherry tomatoes
Heat olive oil and butter. Sauté the onions. It's okay if they take a bit of colour. That will just give more flavour. Add minced garlic and chili flakes and turn the heat down low. Garlic can burn easily. Season with salt and pepper.
To make a sauce in the oil and onions, turn up the heat, add the white wine and reduce.
Add the pasta (it should be slightly underdone in order to finish in the pan) and a small handful of cheese. Combine so the pasta gets well coated in the sauce. Add the tomatoes to warm. Do not stir them in or they will break apart. You can add warmed tomatoes at plating if you are worried about them bursting apart.
When plating, incorporate torn pieces of basil. Sprinkle with more cheese and then chives.