If you're like me and you planted cherry tomatoes this year, they should be coming out of your ears about now. I planted one plant of Sweet 100's and 6 regular size tomato plants. But once things started to ripen I had to check that count. It seemed like there were cherry tomatoes coming up all over my garden plot. The prolific plant had grown and stretched its way to every corner of the plot. I slow roast the cherry tomatoes for "tomato candy." I eat them raw by the handful, add them to salads, saute them and serve them as a side dish and still they keep coming, more than a pint a day. I tried a cherry tomato gratin that was only so-so.
But here's a couple good pasta recipes to use up a bunch in a hurry. These are also great recipes for when the supermarket runs its "buy one, get one free" sale on pints of cherry or grape tomatoes. The first is called Pasta Pomodorini (little tomato) from Michael Chiarello of the Food Network. This is not a saucy pasta. The tomatoes exude some juices that mix with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes, but the tomatoes don't ever actually completely breakdown into a "sauce.' Nonetheless, there is plenty of flavor to coat your pasta. I like to toss in some cleaned raw shrimp in the last few minutes for a really nice dish.
Another great recipe (that I can't believe I've never posted about before) is Sara Moulton's Penne with Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese. This is where I learned the tomato candy method from above. And if you make those tomatoes (plus, somehow manage not to eat them all before it is time to prepare dinner,) and add them to some hot pasta and fresh goat cheese and basil ... well, you're in for a treat. This is one of dear husband's favorite pasta dishes.