Baked Tomato Sauce


My new favorite summer tomato recipe, adapted from the Smitten Kitchen.

4 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound very ripe cherry tomatoes, halved or the same amount of ripe garden tomatoes sliced thick or a combination of both
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound pasta
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the oil.  Place the tomatoes cut side up in the dish.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheeses, and garlic and toss with a fork to mix well. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the tomatoes, making sure that each cut side is well covered with the crumb mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then the final 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake until the tomatoes are cooked through and starting to brown on top, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Time the pasta so it finishes cooking about the time the tomatoes are ready to come out of the oven.

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