Juicy roasted San Marzano tomatoes are served over creamy garlic pasta in this deliciously simple vegetarian meal. If you’re looking for ways to enjoy San Marzano (or other plum) tomatoes that don’t involve making sauce, this is ideal!
San Marzano is a type of plum tomato that is often considered the ideal sauce-making tomatoes. And they do make amazing sauces, but they’re also very nice roasted! So if you’re not in the mood for making sauce from scratch, and want an easier, less messy way to enjoy your San Marzanos with pasta, this is a great recipe for you!
Today we are going to roast the tomatoes until they’re charred, a little jammy, but still very juicy and delicious. While they cook, we’ll prepare a simple white wine garlic cream sauce with pasta, and then the tomatoes are served on top of the pasta. Unlike the uniformity of a sauce, every bite is different in this dish.
You can slice into the tomatoes, and the juices will mix with the cream sauce, and it will be delightful.
Because it’s feeling a little fancy already, I’m also adding a drizzle of pesto and some toasted pine nuts, but all of the garnishes are optional.
Ingredients & Recipe Tips: what you need to know
- You can use Roma tomatoes rather than San Marzano if that’s what you’ve got. The important thing is that they’re really fresh, delicious and juicy! If not, the taste could end up a little bland. To counter this you could drizzle them with a little honey or balsamic to roast in, which will enhance their sweetness. I tend not to add garlic because at the high heat we roast them in, the garlic will likely burn, but you could add some in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking time if you wish.
- Whichever tomatoes you use, the cooking time will depend on their size, so just check in after 20 minutes and use your eyes to decide when they’re ready. Mine took 40 minutes but they’re pretty large.
- I used pecorino cheese, but parmesan, asiago or even something like gruyere can work well. (If you need this dish to be vegetarian, just be sure to choose something made with microbial rennet – in Europe that excludes anything labelled as parmesan.)
- A dry white wine works best here, I used Chardonnay, but you could swap this for vegetable stock if you don’t want to use wine.
- The pesto and pine nuts are lovely, but optional – don’t let them be a deal breaker. Another idea would be to add a drizzle of balsamic glaze over the top of the tomatoes when serving.
Roasted San Marzano Pasta
- 10 oz (280 g) pasta, I love tagliatelle for this dish but feel free to swap for another shape
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil or butter, for cooking
- ½ cup (120 ml) white wine
- 1 cup (240 ml) double (heavy) cream
- 1 cup (110 g) grated cheese, parmesan, pecorino or gruyere are all good choices here
- A couple pinches of nutmeg
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, optional topping
- 2 tbsp basil pesto, optional topping
Roasted San Marzano Tomatoes
- 4 large (300 g) San Marzano tomatoes, use more if your tomatoes are on the smaller size
- olive oil
- salt and pepper , to taste
- Preheat the oven to 220C (430F) or 200C (390F) for fan / convection ovens.
- First, prepare the tomatoes. Slice them in half lengthways and place them on a baking tray, cut side up. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 25-40 minutes. The cook time will depend on the size of your tomatoes so check in at the 25 minute mark and go from there. Meanwhile you will toast your pine nuts and make your cream sauce.4 large San Marzano tomatoes, salt and pepper, olive oil
- Toast your pine nuts. Heat a frying pan on a low heat (no oil needed), and add the pine nuts for a few minutes, turning a couple of times, until they start to lightly brown. Pay close attention – they can go from perfectly toasted to burned in a matter of seconds!2 tbsp pine nuts
- Start making the cream sauce. In a deep saute pan or shallow casserole dish, saute the garlic in a little olive oil or butter until soft. Add the white wine to the pan and let it bubble for a few minutes until it starts to reduce.2 cloves garlic, 1-2 tbsp olive oil or butter, 1/2 cup white wine
- Add the cream, cheese and nutmeg. Turn the heat down to a very low setting and gently mix the sauce until the cheese is melted through. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside.1 cup double (heavy) cream, 1 cup grated cheese, A couple pinches of nutmeg
- Once the tomatoes are charred and reduced to your liking, remove from the oven and let them sit and cool down while you cook the pasta.
- Boil the pasta according to package instructions.10 oz pasta
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add to the pan with the sauce. Add the basil at this time too. Toss to combine. It may seem like you have too much sauce but the pasta will soon drink it up!1 handful fresh basil leaves
- Add the tomatoes to the top of the pasta, drizzle the pesto and scatter the nuts on top, and serve immediately.2 tbsp basil pesto