Rigatoni with Baked Tomato Sauce

Baking the tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness and intensifies their flavor. Use only the large, red, vine-ripened tomatoes for this recipe.

6 to 8  large vine-ripened tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
 freshly ground {black pepper}
3  large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried {basil}
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried {oregano}
1 pound rigatoni
 freshly grated Parmesan or soy Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place tomatoes in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish and drizzle the oil over them. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the salt, sugar, and pepper to taste, and bake 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, add the garlic, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes longer, or until the tomatoes are soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Carefully remove the skins from the tomatoes and discard (they should slip off easily). Transfer the tomatoes and garlic to a food processor and process until smooth. Strain the tomato mixture into a saucepan. Add the basil and oregano. If the sauce is too thin, bring it to a boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced. Otherwise, heat the sauce and adjust the seasonings to taste.

Cook the rigatoni in a large pot of salted boiling water, stirring occasionally, until it is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and place in a serving bowl. Add the sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 10-15 min

Cook Time: 1 hr

Servings: 4

Recipe By: Robin Robertson

From:  Pasta For All Seasons
Used with permission of Robin Robertson

Chef Suggestions
Other pasta choices: ziti, penne