Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Castellane with Mascarpone and Roasted Grape Tomatoes

I had found this recipe from Gourmet and of course I make some changes to it while preparing it:)

Brush a whisked mix of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, & black ground pepper over the tomatoes before roasting.

For a more melted taste use mozzarella cheese at the top of the dish before putting it into the oven. Cover the dish with foil when you put it in the oven to prevent dryness, you can take it off during the last five minutes to have the mozzarella brown a bit.

If you can't find mascarpone, you can also try ricotta cheese. It actually is better for me as mascarpone become watery when melted and then the dish is too soggy. When you use mascarpone you might want to skip adding the pasta water.

Or you can use penne if you don't have castellane handy.


2 pints grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 lb castellane pasta or medium (regular) shells
1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese (from a 1-lb container)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
1/4 cup minced fresh chives

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil and butter foil.

Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, in pan and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast until slightly plumped, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking water, then drain pasta well and transfer to a large bowl.

Add mascarpone and stir until melted. Add reserved cooking water, tomatoes, half of Parmesan, 3 tablespoons chives, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and toss well, then cool to warm.

Butter a 3-quart (13- by 9-inch) gratin or other shallow baking dish. Toss pasta mixture again, then spoon into gratin dish. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan over top. Bake pasta until golden and bubbly, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon chives.

Makes 6 main-course servings.

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