Slow roasted tomato and garlic open lasagne
This year my tomatoes have not done so well. They came on late and have not produced nearly as much fruit as last year’s crop. I’ve done a wee bit of reading about tomatoes and can hazard a guess that this is not due to any shortfalls in my gardening practice, but rather it is a climatic thing. Some years tomatoes flourish, other years they don’t. Despite this their skins have not failed to blush a deep rosy red under the heat of the summer sun, and their flesh is beautifully sweet and juicy.
Where better to find inspiration than from the bounty of ones summer garden? Whilst my sweet wee cherry tomatoes are seldom consumed any other way than fresh and uncooked, I couldn’t resist the temptation to slow roast a whole lot and then combine them with fresh pasta. I am not one to solicit the regular use of cream, however I do believe that indulgence (in moderation of course) is good for the soul. And so it is that I chose to finish this dish off with a light cream sauce. I’ve used crème fraîche whose slightly sour flavour provides balance to the sweetness of the tomatoes.
400 - 500g cherry tomatoes (equivalent to 2 punnets), halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 tbsp fresh marjoram, leaves pulled off stems
2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves pulled off stems
100ml white wine
150g crème fraiche
Half a quantity of fresh pasta. Alternatively you can use store bought lasagne.
¼ cup pinenuts, crushed (you can do this with the back of a spoon)
Parmesan cheese to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C on bake. Arrange the tomato halves on a baking tray lined with baking paper and sprinkle with the olive oil, vinegar and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for an hour.
2. In the meantime make the pasta using this recipe here. I rolled out the lasagne sheets, dried them and then cut them into squares. Don’t worry about getting the squares all perfect, a little variation gives the dish a rustic feel.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil ready for the lasagne.
4. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the garlic and marjoram. Fry over a low heat until both the garlic and the marjoram leaves start to crisp up. Add the wine and the parsley and continue to cook for a few minutes until the wine starts to reduce.>
5. Take the frying pan off the heat and stir in the crème fraîche.
6. Cook the lasagne in the salted water (this will only take a few minutes) and then drain.
7. To assemble put a square of lasagne in the middle of each plate, arrange 9 tomato halves on top then drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with pinenuts. How many tomatoes you can fit on to each layer will depend on the size of your lasagne squares. I fit 9 and did 3 tomato layers in all finishing it off with a generous drizzle of sauce and sprinkle of pinenuts. Finally grate over fresh parmesan cheese.