Contributing to the great “tomato skin debate’, I , who like to eat tomatoes with their skins offer this dish, a favorite of mine, to be made exclusively in tomato season (now) when they are so flavorful. This dish takes time but no talent or fuss. The dish is low in calorie, low in fat and high in flavor. It is an easy-to-make almost fool-proof gourmet treat which should not be attempted if you need to peel the tomatoes first. It would be far too much work and the tomatoes would break down and get overcooked creating a sauce. So only for those who have no problems eating tomato skins – revel in the season with this lovely pasta dish. (Gerard hates tomato skins and threw his in the garbage and made himself fried eggs instead- but my brother and I loved it- and I will make it again for us next week while Gerard is back in
2 lbs fresh red, yellow and/or orange cherry tomatoes (rinsed, halved and stems removed)
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
3 - 4 turns of the grinder of fresh pepper
1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1½ tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 225F
Coat the pan with the olive oil. Arranged the tomato halves face up on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with the slat, pepper and sugar. Scatter the thyme leaves over the tomatoes. Roast in the oven for about one hour.
Turn the tomatoes basting them with the juice. Cook until they begin to melt down (probably about another hour, but check from time to time because this timing varies according to the exact size of the tomatoes. You want them to be moist and soft when done).
Remove from the oven and spoon over some freshly cooked pasta. Preserve any extras in the cooking juices in a plastic bowl or jar with lid. Use in salads, on sandwiches, or pasta or anywhere you want to add a rich tomato flavor (with skins).