I often find myself planning meals that the littlies are sure to like, rather than ones that I enjoy eating. As they get older, though, I'm keen to introduce them to new flavours and re-try foods that they previously loathed. My roasted cherry tomato pasta is one that the littlies loved from when they first started eating, but it's a recipe that lends itself quite nicely to tarting up. Roasting the tomatoes beforehand, ensures that the sauce is never too sharp. I add some roasted vegetables into the mix to make my own palate happier, which gives the kids the opportunity to at least try something new.
Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
1 tbsp olive oil
350g cherry tomatoes
1 sprig of thyme or oregano
1 clove of garlic
1tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped finely
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 red onions, quartered
1 red/yellow pepper, cut into 8ths
1 courgette, sliced (0.5cm thick)
olive oil for drizzling
100g chargrilled artichokes (from jar), chopped roughly
1 handful of green olives
400g pasta (I used fusilli lunghi)
50g parmesan, grated
1. Drizzle cherry tomatoes with olive oil and roast with herbs and garlic at 200Cfor 30 min or until colouring slightly.
2. In a separate roasting tray, roast the red onions, yellow/red pepper and courgette for 30 minutes at 200C.
3. While the cherry tomatoes are roasting, in a separate saucepan, fry shallot in olive oil at a medium heat until translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and sundries tomato paste and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Add 2/3 of the roasted cherry tomatoes to the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add the balsamic vinegar. Remove from heat and blend to a smooth sauce.
5. Add the roasted vegetables (including the whole roasted cherry tomatoes), artichokes and olives to the sauce and cook for 10 minutes to cook through.
6. Cook pasta according to packet instructions and serve with sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan to taste.