They looked like little old ladies. Shrivelled up and smaller than before, when they were all plump, pretty and glowing. Now the glow is softer, more subtle, coupled with a flavour pared down to it's intense best. I'm talking roasted tomatoes. Roasted anything for that matter.
I mean just take beetroot. Lovely when boiled, eaten plain, with a grinding of salt (and a lick of mayo if you share TheHusband's deviant tastebuds). But just try them roasted. Add a swirl of oil and balsamic vinegar and some oventime and man, you've got a tongue party just waiting to happen. Yes okay, so I'm slightly obsessed with beetroots.
But the tomatoes. We were talking about them when I got so terribly sidetrack. To sum up: roasting = a very good thing. A very good thing indeed. Frankly, the slower the better, but I'm guessing you're probably like me in that you don't have time waiting around for hours for a tomato to roast just so when all you really want to do is gobble up a plateful of
Toss 'em together with some silky-chewy tagliatelle, lemon-y yellow ribbons of zucchini (aren't they pretty?), fresh dill from your own garden (cue smug smile), and some chopped up chilli for kicks. Now all you need is some perfectly firm-yet-crumbly feta and you're set. Supper on the table in 30 minutes. Now that's what I'm talking about.
Roasted Tomato, Zucchini & Fennel Tagliatelle
A Creative Pot original
250g baby plum tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
250g yellow zucchini, sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 smallish red chillies, finely chopped
a handful of fennel, finely chopped
salt and and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Spread the tomatoes out onto a baking tray, then roast at 180C (350F) until slightly shriveled and jammy.
2. Meanwhile, boil pasta in a big pot of salted water until al dente.
3. When the pasta is almost done, heat half of the oil in a large frying pan and add the zucchini ribbons. Cook, stirring, until just softened - don't cook any further or it will become a mushy tangle.
4. Gently toss zucchini and tomatoes into the cooked tagliatelle, adding the remainder of the olive oil, lemon juice, chillies and fennel. Add salt and pepper, then spoon into serving bowls. Crumble feta over the top and serve immediately.