Sunday, May 02, 2010

Potluck Perfect

The season for picnics, barbeques, and general get-togethers is upon us.  I have found the perfect potluck dish.  It can be done partially ahead of time and is easy enough to finish off at the last minute before you leave for the party.  It is wonderful hot, but also good at room temperature.  It won't spoil.  It is pretty, it is healthy, and at the party last night, there were two penne noodles left in the bottom.  I was asked over and over for the recipe. 

Pasta with Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes
(the photo to the right is a free clipart; I did not photograph my dish)
Pasta of your choice (I used a box of whole grain penne)
Jar of pesto sauce (I used Classico brand)
Roasted tomato slivers

Start by roasting the tomatoes.  Buy some roma tomatoes, if small buy a dozen, if large you can buy less, depends upon how many tomato slivers you want in the dish.  Wash the romas, slice in half.  Scoop out the seeds and core with a spoon, if desired (you do not have to do this, but they are a bit easier to eat in the pasta if that core is gone).  Place cut side up in a foil lined baking pan.  Sprinkle with your choice of seasonings:  I used ground coriander (my new favorite), salt, and pepper.  I did not drizzle any oil on the tomatoes.  Roast the tomatoes until they are crinkly around the edges and 'look right'.  200-300 degrees; the hotter the oven, the quicker they roast.  In a hurry?  You can do a 400-450 oven for about 20 minutes.  Watch carefully so they don't burn.

Now you can store the tomatoes in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the potluck dish.  On the day of the party, set a large pot of water on to boil why you take your shower or such.  Boil a package of pasta according to the package instructions, drain.  Put the pasta back into the pot and pour a jar of prepared pesto into the pasta and stir.  Slice the tomatoes lengthwise into slivers and stir into the pasta.  Voila!
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