Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rigatoni with Roasted Tomatoes and Beans

We usually have a pasta dinner once or twice a week, depending on what we've picked up at the market to pair with it. When we were at one of the larger farmers' market a few months ago (yeah, I'm still behind on recipes!), we stopped by one of our favorite stands which always seems to have the ugliest, but best tasting tomatoes. I went with the thought of getting a couple pounds of them for a sauce, but by the time we got there all they had left was a couple heavy baskets of cherry tomatoes.

Instead of the more traditional sauce I had in mind, we went in a different direction with those tiny tomatoes and made this Rigatoni with Roasted Tomatoes and Beans. Sliced in half, the tomatoes were tossed with olive oil, plenty of fresh garlic, red vine vinegar and a sprinkling of dried oregano. As the tomatoes roast, expect plenty of their juice to sputter out - to help contain any mess that may happen, do this in a 9" x 13" baking pan (like a cake pan), rather than a baking sheet.

Once the little guys had shriveled, concentrating their sweet nature, we took the pan out and stirred in drained and rinsed beans to heat through. Navy beans were suggested, but Jeff has a beef with those softer white beans (texture issue!), so I swapped those out for chickpeas instead - use what you like.

Now, before the tomatoes were done, we had a couple other pots and pans going on the stove to keep this dish moving along. One pot, filled with salted water, had come up to a boil on the stove, ready to cook the tubular pasta we were using. The pan, laced with butter, was then heated to toast a handful of fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs, turning them darkly golden and nutty. When the pasta tested done, the water was drained away with the pasta remaining in the pot, ready to accept the warm, roasted tomato "sauce".

Tossed with a hit of parsley and a handful of fresh grated Parmesan cheese, we portioned out the generous servings and topped each with a sprinkling of the toasty breadcrumbs and another dose of cheese. We thought the roasting of tomatoes and garlic made all the difference in this, especially with that pleasant zing of vinegar, making for a more robust coating that both of us enjoyed with a silly grin on our face. I'm sure using just-picked tomatoes helped, but even if you had wimpier tomatoes, you might be surprised what a little time in the oven can do!


  1. Super jealous of your just picked tomatoes. Too wintery and snowy here. :-(

  2. Hi, i just want to say hello to the community

  3. This looks amazing. Definitely saving this into my pasta recipe folder :)

  4. Kelly - Well, we did make this several weeks ago ;-)

    Anon - Hi!

    James - Enjoy.