Friday, December 4, 2009

Gnocchi with Roasted Tomatoes by Jeanne

As background, over the summer, Jeanne had been writing to me about a baked tomato dish she had fallen in love with.

Her emails would say things like this: "Doreen C. came to Taipei this weekend and we both ran a 10K. I made the gnocchi and roasted tomatoes for dinner…man, that is one awesome dish if I do say so…"

So, when she came to visit in the fall, it's one of the dishes she made during our cooking fest.

She has perfected the tomato recipe which she pairs with her homemade gnocchi.

Thanks, Jeanne, for a great recipe!

Pomodori al Forno
From Bon Appetit magazine, September 2008, from Seattle's Café Lago

6 servings

Ingredients :
1 cups (or more) olive oil, divided
2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Slice tomatoes in half.
Remove seeds.
Pour 1/2 cup oil into 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange tomatoes in dish, cut side up. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup oil. Sprinkle with oregano.
Jeanne used her special oregano grown by her aunt.

Sprinkle with sugar, and salt. Bake 1 hour. Using tongs, turn tomatoes over. Bake 1 hour longer. Turn tomatoes over again.

Bake until deep red and very tender, transferring tomatoes to plate when soft (time will vary, depending on ripeness of tomatoes), about 15 to 45 minutes longer.

Layer tomatoes in medium bowl, sprinkling garlic and parsley over each layer; reserve oil in baking dish. Drizzle tomatoes with reserved oil, adding more if necessary to cover. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours. (It came be made ahead of time. Cover; chill up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Ingredient tip: Use fine quality canned plum tomatoes if tomatoes are out of season. We used a combination of these farm market beauties and store bought hot house ones. The farm ones didn't hold their shape as well, but both were very good. Slow roasting brings out flavor.

They suggest serving it with aged goat cheese and toasted baguette slices or hot pasta. Jeanne makes homemade gnocchi. The combination is to die for. Jeanne says this will be one of the first items on the menu of her future Italian deli.

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