Why Ziti Pasta with Roasted Tomato Recipe Works? Oven-roasted and slightly charred tomatoes make a great base for a vibrant, slightly smoky pasta sauce in this dish. To expose their juicy flesh, we halved our tomatoes, then spread them out on a baking sheet to roast. Unfortunately, they ended up stewing in their own juice. Upping the roasting time only led to dried-out tomatoes. Cooking them elevated—using a wire rack over the baking sheet was the key. It allowed for maximum air circulation and promoted better charring, leading to a more concentrated roasted tomato flavor. Tossing the tomatoes with tomato paste prior to cooking gave the sauce a deep red color and another layer of tomato flavor. For some aromatic backbone, we used the open space on the rack to roast an onion and garlic cloves; setting them on a piece of aluminum foil in the center of the rack prevented them from falling through the wires or off the edge. A few crumbles of goat cheese provided a tangy richness, while woodsy fresh rosemary paired nicely with the roasted, smoky notes of the sauce. Nutritional information can be found following the recipe.
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or ¼ teaspoon dried
- Salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and halved pole to pole
- 1 small onion, sliced into ½-inch-thick rings
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Sugar, as needed
- 1 pound ziti
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (½ cup)
How to make Ziti Pasta with Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, top with wire rack, and place 4-inch square of foil in center of rack.
- Combine tomato paste, 1 tablespoon oil, rosemary, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and pepper flakes in large bowl. Add tomatoes, onion, and garlic and toss to coat. Place onion rounds and garlic on foil square. Arrange tomatoes, cut side down, on rack around garlic and onions. Roast until vegetables are soft and tomato skins are well charred, 45 to 55 minutes.
- Let roasted vegetables cool for 5 minutes. Pulse garlic and onion in food processor until finely chopped, about 5 pulses. Add tomatoes, vinegar, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil to processor and pulse until tomatoes are broken down but still chunky, about 5 pulses, scraping down bowl as needed. Season mixture with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste and pulse until sauce is slightly chunky, about 5 pulses.
- Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot. Add sauce and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add reserved cooking water as needed to adjust consistency.
- Ziti Pasta with Roasted Tomato Sauce is ready to be served, Sprinkle individual portions with goat cheese before serving.
Nutrition Information: Cal 390; Fat 8g; Sat fat 2.5g; Chol 5mg; Carb 68g; Protein 14g; Fiber 5g; Sodium 440mg.
Quick Prep Tip :
ROASTING THE VEGETABLES – To maximize charring and flavor development, we elevated the vegetables on a rack set in an aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet. The garlic and onion should be positioned on a small square of foil set in the center of the rack; the foil prevents them from slipping through the rack and drying out. Then the halved tomatoes can be placed, cut side down, around the edges of the rack.