Monday, July 9, 2012

Anthony Sedlak's Heirloom Tomato Pasta Bake with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Thanks Nancy, for passing along this recipe which I am posting in honour of a young chef who passed away over the weekend. Anthony Sedlak  was well known for his show, The Main on the Food Network, and will be missed by many. His love of heirloom tomatoes was well known.

Rest in peace.

*Heirloom Tomato Pasta Bake with Fresh Tomato Sauce**

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
6 x basil leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chopped yellow or orange tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 x 500 gram bag rigatoni
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup black olives, finely chopped
1  heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (add a little dried oregano and freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you wish)
good quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
2  fresh basil leaves, torn

In a large wide sided pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden, 2-3 minutes. Add basil and pepper, and let basil fry lightly in oil, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, and allow to cook down, 10-15 minutes, or until tomatoes start to break down. The oil and tomato juice will emulsify to make a sauce.

Crush tomatoes slightly, and season with salt. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions. Remove from water when slightly undercooked, as the pasta will continue to cook when baked.

Add drained pasta to tomato sauce, stirring to combine. Add Parmesan cheese and half of the olives. Stir to combine. Transfer pasta mixture to a 9x13 casserole dish.

Alternate heirloom tomato wedges and dollops of ricotta evenly on pasta. Sprinkle with remaining black olives. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden and crusty on top. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil.

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