This is a great day. I mean, it’s a work day and it’s raining and cold and I’m annoyingly busy, but we have Rory in town this weekend and SO MANY FUN PLANS and Jay’s birthday is on Tuesday and next week is a holiday and just YES.
I’ve been wanting to tell you for awhile about how I take crappy winter tomatoes from Aldi and roast them for a LONG time until they’re slightly dark at the edges and super sweet and delicious. I use them in all kinds of dinner, but in this pasta they’re particularly delicious.
Then arrange them on a baking sheet with parchment or lots of cooking spray – roasted tomatoes get sticky. Sprinkle them very lightly with salt and sugar, then drizzle with olive oil or spray with cooking spray.
Roast the tomatoes. NOW. There are a few ways to do this. If you’re in a hurry, zap ’em at 450F for 15 – 20 minutes until they’re slightly dark at the edges. I made these the night before, and roasted them for 4 HOURS at 250F. You can do either method, or somewhere in between – 350F for 1.5 hours, etc. Either way, you’re looking for wilted, dried out, slightly dark at the edges tomatoes.
When you’re ready to make the rest of the dish, grab your other ingredients. In addition to the tomatoes you’ll need kale, orzo, garlic, parmesan (omit for vegan), and olive oil. And salt, but that’s your call if you don’t want to use it.
Add the garlic to the warm oil and as SOON as you smell it (could be only a minute if your oil is already warm), remove the pan from the heat and let the garlic infuse the oil without cooking – browned garlic can be bitter.
Besides the fact that this looks like Christmas, it’s GOOD. The sharp kale with the sweet roasted tomatoes go really well together, and if you can afford it go for the expensive parm – it’s a good time to use the real stuff for sure.
- 3 cups orzo, cooked to package directions (3 cups dry)
- 1 small bunch kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 12 roma tomatoes or equivalent
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 ounces parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
- Heat the oven to 325F. Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch chunks, and place on a baking sheet with parchment or cooking spray. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 1.5 - 2 hours until tomatoes are dried, wilted, and slightly dark at the edges.
- When tomatoes are roasted or nearly roasted, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Add the kale to a large bowl with a sprinkle of salt and massage for 30 seconds or so to tenderize. Add the olive oil to a small pan and mince the garlic. Over medium-low heat, add the garlic to the oil and stir until just fragrant, then turn the heat off and let the oil cool.
- To the kale, add the orzo and garlic oil. Stir and taste; add salt to your preference. Very gently stir in the tomatoes and most of the parmesan. Top with the rest of the parmesan and serve.
- Best served warm or at room temperature, but also can be served hot or cold.