Pasta with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic Confit and Summer Corn

Taste of Summer

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Every time I turn on the radio or television in the past several days, someone is talking about the end of summer.  When the heck did summer end in August?  Don’t we get until at least the third week in September?  So, I started feeling nervous — tomatoes are about the disappear for a year — corn on the cob is on its way to canning factories.   I made the confit (nothing to it!) — roasted the tomatoes, and I knew at that point this pasta was going to hella yummy.  And it was!!

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Serves 4

  • 12 cloves garlic, unpeeled (for the garlic confit)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pints cherry tomatoes (any size, color, shape)
  • tablespoon garlic oil (from the pot of garlic confit)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • sprigs fresh herbs (any combination of thyme, rosemary, tarragon, sage)
  • ears yellow or white corn
  • pound pasta
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • tablespoons garlic oil (again, from the garlic confit)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup parsley leaves
  1. With a paring knife, puncture a tiny hole in each clove of garlic. Place cloves in a small pot and cover with the 1/2 cup of olive oil. If the cloves aren’t completely covered, add a splash more oil. Bring to a boil. Turn down as low as the flame will go. Simmer until a paring knife slides in easily (about 15 to 20 minutes). Take off the heat and cool in the pan. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 250° F. Prepare your sheet pan by covering it with a sheet of parchment paper.  . Place the whole tomatoes on the pan and toss with garlic oil (just scoop it right out of your garlic confit pot), salt, and herbs. Place in the preheated oven. Check after 1 1/2 hours to make sure they’re not burning. Take them out of the oven when they’ve shriveled up and darkened in color. They should still be moist inside. This takes 2 to 3 hours. Remove from the oven and smoosh them with the bottom of a glass and cook them for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Rub the herb sprigs between your hands, sprinkling the dried leaves down onto the tomatoes. Discard any tough sticks. Gently mix. Set aside.
  3. Shuck your corn. Hold the cob by one end, and put the other end in a deep bowl.  Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the kernels from the cobs.    Set aside.
  4. Place a large pot of water on high heat for the pasta. Add salt.
  5. While waiting for the water to boil, spoon 5 tablespoons garlic oil (from the cooled pot of garlic confit) into a medium-sized pot. Squeeze all garlic cloves out of their skins into the oil in the pot. With the back of a wooden spoon, break the cloves apart a bit into the olive oil. Warm for 30 seconds on medium heat. Add corn and salt. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn heat down to low. Add tomatoes. Stir for one minute. Taste. It will probably need a bit more salt. Adjust as needed. Pour into a large serving bowl. Set aside.
  6. When the water is boiling, slide in your pasta. Cook until al dente. Add drained pasta to the tomato/corn/garlic mixture. Toss. Add a few more splashes of garlic oil. Taste. Add more salt or garlic oil as needed. Garnish with parsley leaves and a shower of freshly grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.

From Food 52, Phyllis Grant

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