perfect pasta for a heat wave! tomatoes with basil and breadcrumbs

tomatoes with basil and breadcrumbs
We're having a heat wave,
A tropical heat wave,
The temperature's rising,
It isn't surprising,
She certainly can can-can. 


Well my anatomy is not likely, as Irving Berlin wrote, likely to make "the mercury jump to ninety-three" but this simple tomato and pasta dish "proves that she certainly can can-can" make a perfect dish for a blistering hot September day!


My homegrown tomatoes are coming to an end and all I have left are a few slightly mishapen red lumps that had not benefitted from our dreadful wet summer. They needed a little help in the oven and I have the perfect solution.

Serves 4
Skill level: Easy

ingredients: 

250g cherry tomatoes, halved around their circumference
olive oil
dried breadcrumbs
fresh basil leaves, torn
salt and freshly ground black pepper
spaghetti
grated pecorino or parmesan, to serve

directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Place the tomato halves in an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle over a little salt and pepper and a generous coating of breadcrumbs.
  3. Add a generous trickle of olive oil to wet the breadcrumbs (but not enough so that they are swimming in oil!)
  4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and the breadcrumbs are beginning to crisp up. (It may take longer, depending on how hot your oven is).
  5. Top with some torn basil leaves and leave to cook for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta. Dried spaghetti usually takes about 10 minutes to cook.
  6. Drain the pasta and return to the pan.
  7. Pour over the tomato and breadcrumb mixture and toss well.
  8. Check the seasoning and serve with a little of the grated cheese.

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