This is my second go round with this recipe. I had to make it just once more and post it on this website because the last time I prepared it, it was insanely good. This time though, I wanted to change up a few ingredients to make things even better.
I’ve been waiting all year to put this dish together. I even bought very specific cherry tomato plants, just for the occasion. And since we’ve got about two million tomatoes all ripening at the same time in our garden, I figured I better get on it. So that’s what I did last night.
If you love a nice plate of garlicky pasta, you’re in luck. This dish takes full advantage of both the pasta and the garlic and also uses some parsley, basil, kalamata olives, capers and more. There is so much flavor coming out of this dish that you’ll be blown away. I generally steer clear of too much garlic because I don’t want it following me for days, but in this case, I went for it. I used 10 full cloves and it was spectacular. I encourage you to try this recipe out. You’re going to love it.
3 Pounds Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 Cup Capers
10 Whole Garlic Cloves
1 1/2 Teaspoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon + 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, Divided
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Pound Cavatappi Pasta
1/2 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives, Chopped
1/4 Cup Crushed Pecans, Toasted
1/8 Cup Fresh Basil, Chopped
1/8 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Parmesan Cheese, Grated
I initially found this recipe in my America’s Test Kitchen resource called The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook, but I’ve since modified things, so I don’t really know who to thank. I suppose I should still give credit to the Test Kitchen because it originally inspired me.
Arrange your oven racks so one is in the center position and then pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roast the Tomatoes
Place the tomatoes, olive oil, capers, garlic cloves, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper and pepper flakes into a large skillet. Then, mix all these ingredients together well.
Then, place the skillet in the oven for 30 minutes. When finished, remove the skillet from the oven and turn off the heat.
Cook the Pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add one tablespoon of salt to the water. Then, add the pasta, stir and let cook for 11 minutes. When it’s finished, strain the pasta through a colander. Reserve 1 cup of the water for later use.
Toast the Pecans
Warm a small skillet over medium heat and when the pan is to temperature, add in the crushed pecans. Continuously swirl the pecans around the skillet until you begin to smell them toast. When you do, remove them from the heat.
Add the pasta, tomato mixture, olives, pecans, basil, parsley and dried oregano to the original pot you cooked the pasta in.
Mix these ingredients together well and, if necessary, add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen things up if too dry.
Plate & Serve
Divide the pasta mixture between plates. Then, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over each plate and serve. Enjoy!
The Final Cavatappi Pasta Dish
I really wish you’d try this recipe and if you do, please let me know how you like it in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!