Last week I paid close attention to the weather forecast and as a result I went out to my little garden and stripped all my tomato plants of any and all tomatoes that had color. According to the weatherman on the television, summer was officially over. After what I witnessed yesterday, I should have known better. You know what I’m talking about… For example, the meteorologist tells you in the morning that it is going to bright and sunny and by mid afternoon, you wished you had brought an umbrella.
Well, when it comes to the weather, sometimes I need to remind myself that Mother Nature can be very unpredictable. After picking all those tomatoes, I ignored my garden thinking that it was over and done for the season. Nope. Not even remotely close… When I walked out to the garden yesterday, I was astonished at what I saw. There were dozens of tomatoes ready to picked once again. The first thing I thought was, great!, I will have fresh tomatoes for lunch and dinner! The second thing I thought was oh, shii…take mushrooms, there are so many tomatoes left out on the vines and I have a lot of work to do!
Do you see what I mean? Most of the tomatoes will be made into a sauce, some will be roasted, and some will be frozen. Some will be given away, and some will be eaten fresh. You get the picture. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m happy to have them. You will however, hear me complain this winter when I don’t have any fresh picked homegrown tomatoes to eat.
These are Indigo Rose Tomatoes. They are small in size, red in color and with a splash of dark purple. These tomatoes are another favorite of mine. They are great roasted, sliced fresh in salads and can even be stuffed with chicken or tuna for wonderful little bite sized appetizers or a light lunch. They are also really pretty and different looking than your average red tomato. A wonderful way to prepare Indigo Rose Tomatoes is to roast them and then toss them with some angel hair pasta, baby spinach, fresh basil, olive oil and fresh grated Romano cheese for light and flavorful dinner. Enjoy! Tessa
- 1 cup roasted tomatoes (see recipe below)
- 4 ounces dried angel hair pasta
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
- 1/8 cup fresh basil sliced thinly
- 1 Tbs olive oil or more as needed
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh grated Romano cheese (more if desired)
- garnish with fresh basil
Cook angel hair pasta according to manufacturer’s direction, drain and set aside. If needed, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the pasta to keep it from sticking. Heat a saute pan over a medium high flame. Add roasted tomatoes (with the juice), olive oil, baby spinach, basil, garlic paste, red pepper flakes and cook until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the angel hair pasta and cook until heated through. Add additional olive oil if desired. Add salt and pepper. Taste and correct your seasonings. Place on serving platter, top with Romano cheese and garnish with fresh basil. Makes 2 servings.
How to Oven Roast Tomatoes
This is a simple recipe that will yield some flavorful tomatoes for soups, stews and sauces. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut tomatoes in half or into large chunks. Gently squeeze out some of the seeds. Toss lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper. I added some sprigs of basil and rosemary for some flavor. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet (for easy cleanup). Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on the size or variety of tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes start to shrivel and get a bit of color or until your liking. Remove from oven, let cool, remove basil and rosemary, place in plastic bags and toss in the refrigerator. Use within a few days. Can be frozen for later use. When freezing the tomatoes, measure the roasted tomatoes and juice in one cup portions and place in sandwich bags. Lay the sandwich bags flat in your freezer in order to maximize your freezer space.
Note: if you don’t like the skins on the tomatoes, just pull the skins off after cooking. They pop off pretty easily.