Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Roasted Tomato Pasta with Shrimp

I took the day off from work today to reward myself for a particularly grueling trial that is now OVER, thank goodness. I decided to treat myself further by going to visit my parents in their new home, and commandeering their beautiful new kitchen to cook us all lunch. I had recently seen an episode of Cooking for Real on the Food Network where Sunny Anderson made a gorgeous looking pasta with a "pesto" made out of garlic infused oil and roasted cherry tomatoes. It had to be mine, my friends.

The garlic infused oil can be made a few ways. The idea is to roast the peeled cloves from an entire head of garlic in extra virgin olive oil, and then make use of both the roasted garlic cloves and the oil in this recipe. I ended up discarding the garlic cloves because I burned them and they became bitter. I would not recommend burning them, folks. Just in case you were considering it. Still, I made use of the oil and it was lovely. If you want to take a shortcut, you can buy garlic-infused oil at the grocery store.

The sauce has a deliciously creamy texture without any cream whatsoever - it's the genius of the puree function on your blender or food processor. My mother loved the sauce, even though she despises all things creamy, and said if she hadn't watched me make it she would have sworn there was cream in there.

We all know by now that when you roast things, they become sweeter. This recipe is a wonderful celebration of that fact.

Roasted Tomato Pasta with Shrimp
adapted from Sunny Anderson's Cooking for Real
serves 4-6


1 pint of sweet cherry tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
salt and pepper

12 oz. whole wheat penne or other short-cut pasta
1/4 cup garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil (see discussion above)
2 cups pre-cooked frozen shrimp, thawed
pinch red pepper flakes
handful fresh basil


1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400. On a baking sheet, lay out the cherry tomatoes in a single layer. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until tomatoes are starting to wrinkle and burst. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain.

3. While the pasta is cooking, put about half of the garlic-infused oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until warmed through.

4. Puree remaining garlic-infused oil, tomatoes and their juices, and basil in a food processor or blender. Toss the pasta with the pureed sauce, and serve topped with the shrimp.

A little bit different, but still easy! If you are making use of the roasted garlic cloves in this recipe, puree them with the oil, tomatoes, and basil.



  1. That looks great! I love shrimp.
    Missed you this week at CEimB - but will be sure to look for your post next week. In the meantime, keep offering these great recipes!
    Thanks for checking out my new site.