resizePenneTomUntitled-1Photo: Courtesy of Dinner: A Love Story.
Let's face it: You're busy — too busy to mess around with complicated cooking at the end of the day. Still, dinner should be more than just a cup full of cereal and the dream of a brighter tomorrow. Enter: Jenny Rosenstrach, a busy mom who makes dinner happen with style, simplicity, and just the right amount of sizzle. Whether or not you're cooking for kids, we love her easy, delicious approach. In fact, we love it so much, we'll be sharing one of her recipes every week, so you can have a life — and a REALLY good meal, too.
Advertisement
When I say that “anyone” can make this, I suppose I should point out — before the haters do — that not just “anyone” would be able to figure out how to invert his or her wrist in a way that helps distribute a container of grape tomatoes onto a baking sheet. This technique, also known as “dumping,” involves a slight acceleration of the wrist, which helps direct the tomatoes onto the baking sheet and not flying across the kitchen at an errant trajectory. Oh…I guess it’s presumptuous of me to assume that pretty much “anyone” is going to own a piece of equipment as arcane as a “baking sheet.” For those of you who don’t own one, and who don’t live near a grocery store (a place where food and cooking miscellany is sold), I’m sorry. This recipe is probably not for you. Nor is it for anyone who has yet to master water boiling. Or pepper mill grinding. Or who hasn’t yet figured out how to transform a hard block of Parmesan cheese into snowy shreds, a technique known by many in the professional food world as “grating.”
But for everyone else in search of a quick dinner on a weeknight? This one’s for you.
Penne with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
This recipe changes for us based on what kind of night it is. If you have some time, I advise slow-cooking the tomatoes for an hour and a half at 300°F. This results in blistered, concentrated tomatoes that fall apart beautifully when mixed into the pasta. If it’s a weeknight and you only have 30 minutes or so, proceed as directed.
1 16-ounce container of grape tomatoes (or however many you’ve got)
1 small onion, chopped roughly (I admit, a little skill involved here, but minimal!)
4 tablespoons olive oil
A shake of red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt & pepper
A sprig of thyme, leaves removed (optional)
1 pound penne pasta (I like the ridged kind, penne rigate, or orecchiette)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Advertisement
Preheat oven to 350°F. Dump tomatoes and onions on a baking sheet lined with foil. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme leaves and toss with your fingers or a spoon. (Do this gently so you don’t rip the foil.) Bake for 25-30 minutes until tomatoes look shrivelly and brown but not burnt.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. When draining, reserve a ¼ cup of pasta water. Place pasta pot back on burner over low heat and add butter and remaining olive oil.
Add penne back to the pot and toss with tomato-onion mixture and cheese. If it’s looking gloppy or sticky, add a little reserved pasta water to loosen.
Serve with additional grated Parmesan. If you are feeling indulgent, a dollop of ricotta is gonna be pretty excellent.
Advertisement
Jenny Rosenstrach is the author of Dinner: A Love Story and the blog of the same name. She and her husband write The Providers column for Bon Appetit.
Advertisement

More from Food & Drinks

In a city of never-ending menus and food trends, it can be hard to figure out the next best brunch spot, lunchtime haunt, or recipe to master. However, all...
Great drinks, a perfect soundtrack, the perfect lighting: all these things can make a party good. But what makes a get-together memorable? The food. Once ...
Twitter has gone wild after a teen posted a bread-based personality test. The teen, 18-year-old Floridian Kelly Blaus, posted a meme that matched bread ...
This no-bake confetti fudge takes minutes to put together and will satisfy any sweet tooth
'Tis the season for pumpkin spice and everything nice — am I right? We thought there was no better way to celebrate than with a doughnut
Coffee has seen us through a lot of tough times. Those all-nighters in college, work deadlines, and hangovers from hell — we couldn't have made it to the...
So, our days high-fiving after sinking a ping pong ball in a red Solo cup are long over, but we hope we’re never too mature for imbibing with friends and...
(Paid Content) Scrambled eggs for breakfast? Yawn. Standard-issue pancakes? Predictable. To effectively get us out of bed in the a.m., we prefer a morning ...
Leaving your pet in the care of someone else is always a nerve-wracking situation, but if you leave them with Chase Stout, rest assured they're in safe ...
Do NOT come between the internet and its love for fall-inspired pumpkin treats, or everyone will go nuts. Grub Street reports that after some ...
In addition to your typical candy staples, you may want to stock up on the newest flavor of Doritos this Halloween. During the month of October in Japan...
Big-batch punches are sophisticated, fun, and most importantly, easy for group gatherings (especially when spiked with your favorite alcohol). They're also...
If you've been waiting patiently for almond milk to arrive at your local Starbucks, the dairy alternative is finally here. Beginning tomorrow, September ...
Oh, Target. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Amazing designer collaborations, affordable and adorable home buys, deals and steals on great ...