Gretchen McKay

What’s For Dinner: Orecchiette with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

Orecchiette with Roasted Tomatoes Steve Mellon/Post-Gazette

A record 18,000 runners and walkers from 48 states and more than a dozen foreign countries will pound the pavement in Pittsburgh’s half and full marathons Sunday. And most will be loading up on carbs a few days before for the energy needed to power through the race.

This pasta recipe couldn’t be easier, pairing orecchiette — which means “small ears” in Italian — with oven-roasted vine tomatoes. Toss with tiny meatballs to add protein.

Good luck, and see you at the finish line!

  • 1 pound 5 ounces vine tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 10 ounces dried orecchiette
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer in an ovenproof dish, cut sides up. (I quartered the tomatoes to speed cooking, and left the seeds in.) Chop parsley and garlic clove together and sprinkle over the tomatoes with the oregano. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tomatoes are concentrated and beginning to caramelize.

Cook the orecchiette in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, tip into the dish of tomatoes and stir well. Sprinkle with pecorino, season with pepper and serve immediately on a warmed dish.

Serves 3 to 4, depending on appetite.

— “The Silver Spoon: Pasta” (Phaidon, 2009, $39.95)