This month when my copy of Everyday Food graced my mailbox, I was drawn in by almost every recipe in the magazine. The cover looked like a fantastic lunch dish and I made it quickly to enjoy for the week. The problem with making lunch the night before (and cooking it) is that by the time you are done you don't really feel like tasting it, and so it is all a surprise the next day. The pasta looked great when it was all set and done and I was excited for the next day.
But, unfortunately, when I heated it up at the office I found that it was super bland. Perhaps my problem was that I am no good at "thickening the sauce" or maybe I didn't use the right olives. Either way it needed something and I had nothing.
That night, I went home and looked into my cabinet to determine what I could use to spice it up. The next morning I splashed a little rice vinegar into the mix--that did it. It gave it some flavor and made it work. The final time I ate it I added a little shredded cheese while heating it along with the vinegar--good idea! Perhaps a few cubes of cheese would be better...
2 pints grape tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 shallots, cut into 8ths
2 T fresh thyme leaves
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper
8 ounces pasta of your choice (I used those spirals)
1/3 cup pitted olives (I used regular green olives with pimentos because I had them)
3 cups baby arugula or spinach
3T rice vinegar
Cubed Cheese (optional)
-Preheat Oven to 450, place tomatoes, garlic, shallots and thyme on a baking sheet. Toss with oil, salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes burst and shallots are browned about 20-25 minutes.
-Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente, reserve 1/4 C pasta water, drain, return pasta to pot
-Peel roasted garlic and mash. Add everything to the pasta pot except arugula.
-Cook over medium high until sauce has thickened (3 minutes)
-Let cool slightly, toss with arugula and vinegar
Note: If making ahead, toss with the arugula right before serving