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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Roasted Garlic Fettuccine

This was a great way to use up what I suspect will be my last purchase of ripe heirloom tomatoes from the Farmers Market this year.  The roasted garlic adds a creamy, nuttiness to a simple tomato sauce.  Garlic lovers, this recipe is for you. 

  • 3 heads garlic, outer skins removed and tops chopped off to expose each clove.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 more tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons soft goat cheese or creme fraiche (optional)
  • 1 pound dried fettuccine, cooked al dente per package instructions
  • Chopped basil and Parmesan cheese for garnish
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a small baking dish with enough aluminum foil to wrap the three garlic heads together.
2) Arrange the garlic snugly on the foil, cut sides up, and cover just the roots with broth.  Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Fold the foil over the garlic, making a tight fitting lid.  Place in the oven and roast until brown and very soft, 30 minutes or so.  Remove from the oven, let cool, and carefully remove each clove.  A sharp paring knife works well for this.  Discard the papery skins and set garlic aside.
3) While the garlic is roasting, remove the core, skins and seeds of your tomatoes*.  Finely chop half the tomatoes and blend the other half in a food processor.  Set aside.
4) Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, half of the roasted garlic, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt in a large sauce pan.  Mash the garlic into the olive oil mixture to make a paste.  Add the rest of the garlic, leaving the remaining cloves whole.  Mix in the tomatoes and simmer over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes.  If you want a creamier sauce, stir in a few tablespoons of soft goat cheese or creme fraiche.  Taste and adjust seasoning.
5) Toss the fettuccine with the sauce and serve garnished with chopped basil and Parmesan cheese.

*You can remove the skins easily if you place the tomatoes in a large pot of rapidly boiling water for 15 to 20 seconds.  Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and immediately place them in a large bowl of ice cold water.  From here the skins should come off very easily.  Cut each tomato into quarters and use your finger to gently remove each pocket of seeds.

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