This first week of fall has been gloriously fall like. The mornings are cool, warranting a sweatshirt and slippers and the days have been a bit gloomy, even giving way to some refreshing rain. The mantle has been aglow with candles and the slow cooker has endured a few good workouts, turning out some of the most comfy food I can think of. It was just what the doctor ordered for this slightly stressed mama. Nothing beats sweats and comfort food when you're not at your best, amiright?
As I believe I've mentioned, we are wading through some heavy decisions in our house. Dinner time has been such a haven for us as we take the time to sit down together, eat something good and talk it all out. Tonight, our conversation was particularly heavy and as my husband and I were going back and forth, Oliver, covered from head to toe in tomato sauce, was making sure we clapped every time he used his fork to spear his pasta and successfully made it into his mouth. He is such a reminder to me that while this time made be difficult, there is so much joy in it. The hard times can sometimes feel so hard and I often feel like I can be so short sighted without the ability to see the big picture. This little boy is so helpful for putting things into perspective.
Early in the week I found myself up to my ears in cherry tomatoes and since I was already on a comfort food kick, I decided that roasting them is the coziest way I know to treat a tomato. I used a few in a warm lentil salad I made from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty and the rest were packed away in the fridge awaiting inspiration. This afternoon, once the babe was sound asleep, I spent some time cooking up a deeply rich puttanesca that ended up being an incredibly satisfying way to end the week. The sauce is quite thick and coats the pasta perfectly, hanging on tightly even when a toddler is attempting to shovel it in his mouth.
roasted tomato puttanesca
makes 6 cups, enough for 2 pounds of pasta
- 4 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
- 4 large cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon dill, chopped
- Heat the oven to 265 degrees. Cover two sheet pans in foil, set aside.
- Toss cut tomatoes in 2 tablespoons olive oil, fresh thyme and 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt. Roast in the oven until starting to dry out, about an hour and a half. Transfer to a bowl.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat until glistening. Add garlic, onion, oregano and capers and cook until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes and water and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered for 30 minutes until reduced and thickened slightly. Puree the tomato sauce with a stick blender or in a counter top blender until smooth. Stir in the dill.