Recently a friend of mine gave me a box of Trofie Liguri pasta. He purchased this pasta rarity (at least I've never seen this type before) from an Italian specialty shop in NYC. The shape is interesting- it's essentially a rolled up pasta. I have been looking forward to making a dish with it ever since I laid my eyes on it. We decided to go with an old family standard. Perhaps our favorite pasta dish. The unique shape of the Trofie Liguri pasta provided the perfect pasta-to-sauce ratio. This recipe was shared with us by sister Keiko. Her talents extend far beyond providing us this great recipe, you should check out her blog A Small Adventure to see what she's been up to.
What I love about this recipe is that it's extremely simple to make and while it involves the standard pasta ingredients (tomatoes, garlic, cheese, olive oil, basil) it is quite the opposite of standard when it comes to its rich flavors.
This time around we used some old frozen bread that we had bought months ago. It was some type of olive bread before it became inedibly crusty (that's when we froze it). The olive bread crumbs (along with the Trofie Liguri) really made this incredible dish even better.
1 1/2 lbs. Cherry Tomatoes Halved
4 Garlic Cloves Minced
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs*
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (preferably shredded)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Trofie Liguri (or Penne Pasta, or other types of small sized pasta. Mini Shell pasta works very well too)
1/2 cup Fresh Basil
1. Combine garlic, crumbs, cheese, oil and salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Arrange tomatoes in a baking dish face down. Spoon mixture over tomatoes evenly.
4. Roast in oven for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare pasta, drain.
4. Serve tomato mixture atop a bed of pasta, garnish with basil and a sprinkle of parmesan.
*To make breadcrumbs you can toast fresh bread until it is completely dry or use old bread that has naturally dried out. If possible break into small chunky pieces or pulse in food processor to achieve this. You can use pre-packaged breadcrumbs but these are usually more finely grated than what you would get making bread crumbs by hand.