ll Cibo é L'essenza Della Vita....

"The rooms that you use on a daily basis are the rooms people will always want to sit in, because they have soul." --Bunny Williams


"If you want to live forever and ever, drink wine and eat maccheroni." ~~~Sicilian Proverb

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Foodie Friday and a huge thank you-this one's for Michael

       It's Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum and we want to say a very special thank you! Two weeks ago we were the VERY lucky winners of one of Michael's giveaways- the copper pan!!! YAY!!!

It came this week and after my husband pried it out of my arms, we went to work deciding on a way to use it for this Foodie Friday. 
Then I remembered something. 
That is an accomplishment in itself as it seems that lately I'm lucky I remember the names of my children

Though we have so many of them, that can be understandable

A couple of weeks ago, Michael commented on our Facebook Fan page with her memories of a wonderful morsel that she had enjoyed during a trip to Italy. She mentioned a small roasted tomato with herb-y crumbs that she had never been able to duplicate.

I won't even begin to pretend I can duplicate that particular delicacy, but it was a starting point. As it happens, I absolutely love roasted tomatoes with their smoky, caramelized sweetness and I have had several recipes that are favorites of mine. 
After some searching through my files, and just a bit of taste-testing (did you expect me NOT to?), we combined and played till we came up with this week's recipe. 
And because everything is better with pasta, we are serving our roasted mini tomatoes with thin spaghetti and a huge thank you to Michael. 

Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes
loosely adapted from Canal House Cooking, Nonna Norma, and Zia Annamaria
8 ounces diced pancetta (for today I used a mix of pancetta and prosciutto- it’s what I had)
A very good quality extra virgin olive oil- this will affect this dish
5 anchovy fillets
3 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (my Italian bread in the food processor)
small Campari tomatoes- I used 3 packages (tops sliced off, seeds scooped out with a grapefruit spoon)
1 large head garlic, roasted in an oven till soft 
4 cloves garlic, pressed
handful fresh thyme, parsley, basil, and rosemary leaves, minced (I use my trusty mezzaluna!)
salt & pepper
1-1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wrap the head of garlic in foil and roast till soft- about 40 minutes.  Saute the pancetta in a pan over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove to a plate. Leave the rendered fat in the pan.  Add 4-5 tablespoons of the olive oil and the anchovies to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to stir and mash the anchovies until they dissolve. Add 1/2 the pressed garlic and saute for a minute, then add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until they are golden. Season with salt and pepper Put the tomatoes, cut side up, in a baking dish sprayed with Pam. Take the roasted garlic and squeeze a bit into the cavities of each tomato. Mound some bread crumbs onto each tomato, pressing it down into the tomato and mounding just a little on top. Save the extra bread crumbs. Scatter  half the herbs on top. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of olive oil over all.  Roast the tomatoes in the oven until they have browned a bit but not collapsed. Depending on the size of the tomatoes, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. These little guys took about 40 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the baking dish and set aside. Do not clean out the baking dish!
Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water.  While the pasta cooks, gently heat about 1/4 cup (or a little more) of olive oil and saute the rest of the pressed garlic. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot  Stir the juices and any bits of bread crumbs from the bottom of the tomato roasting dish into the pasta.  Add a little olive oil and the reserved pasta water and toss lightly over low heat till warmed.  Toss in the rest of the herbs, the pancetta and leftover bread crumbs
Pour the pasta into a serving bowl, place the tomatoes on top, sprinkle fresh Parmesan cheese over all and serve.

Is this pot wonderful or what?!

Yellow matelasse blanket used as table cover

Folded piece of fabric that I love under plate

Garlicky, herb-y, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth tomatoes 

As Always,

Buon Alimenti, Buon Amici,

 Molti Grazie Michael

Pattie and Allie


  1. oh my - that sounds absolutely delicious! I wish I could make it right now!

  2. that food looks and sounds amazing. I sure could have a plate of that right this minute..

  3. Looks delicious. I will surely have to try this one. The table looks beautiful as usual and the copper pan is amazing!!

  4. my mouth is watering...this looks delicious! The copper pan is absolutely beautiful :) So happy for you!!

  5. Beautiful table and delicious-looking food, Pattie. I don't know how you do it all, but you seem to be quite the multi-tasker!

  6. The food looks amazing. Congrat on winning:)

  7. Dear Allie and Pattie,

    Your new pan is wonderful! Your food, once again, looks wonderful too! I really need to try some of your recipes...I am a bit short on Italian recipes in my repertoire. Yummy! Joni

  8. What a delicious looking meal....I LOVE your new pan, you are a lucky girl!! Happy Foodie Friday!

  9. Well, if I couldn't win it, I would want you to win (she says whinning). This pan is BEAUTIFUL. I bet it was pure joy cooking that fabulous meal. This looks so yummy! Now where is my story about grandpa Joe or grandma Josie or the Aunts? That is my favorite part. I have declared myself a long lost relative! I just love your family! Hugs and hello to Allie!
    Yvonne, you long lost 3rd cousin twice removed on your Aunts nephew's side.

  10. Delightful post! Sounds delicious...and more delicious because of the pan! Congratulations.

  11. Oh, Patti, I am licking my lips over on my side of the blog window. Be still my heart. I can't thank you enough for joining my foodie quest. These tomatoes actually look better than the one I shared with my mama. Bandwidth agrees. We are on this recipe like a duck on a Junebug!

  12. That looks excellent! And the pot is beautiful. It is good you won it, you do it proud!

  13. Wow it all looks so delicious! Great post.

  14. What a postively GORGEOUS meal!! Thanks for sharing :)


  15. You are so right.. that is one beautiful pot and the dish looks fabulously in it!!! Congrats!

  16. Lucky you to win such a beautiful pan. Roasted tomatoes are so flavourful. One of my favourite pastas uses garlicky breadcrymbs so this dish reminds me of that:D

  17. Everything about this post is INCERDIBLE!!! That copper pan, alone, is to die for. I can't believe that you went to all that work after someone just happened to mention a dish they loved while in Italy. It turned out gorgeous. And everything about the table setting is beautiful too, including the matelasse blanket underneath.
    Also, the cake plate and cover in post below is SO SO pretty. Lucky you! : )

  18. Patti, I am so going to try this recipe. And soon! Congrats on the win. What a presentation! Speaking of win, you are on a roll....I am picking up your initial today and will put your initial jar in the mail on MOnday. Happy day sweet friend!

  19. First off, still loving that pan! (the tears of not winning it are finally drying up! LOL).

    OMG Pattie! This dish looks amazing! During the height of tomato season, I am trying to come up with recipes to use all the fresh tomatoes we have in our garden. This is going straight over to my "cooking with garden veggies" file!!

  20. Oh my word. This sounds so wonderful. I have copied this recipe and I will definitely have to try this one. My mouth is just watering. Yum, yum. Your presentation is beautiful too. Such a gorgeous pan.
    Thanks also for always leaving such kind and gracious comments on my blog. I really do appreciate it. Hugs, Marty

  21. Patty and allie, Every time I come here I start salivating. I swear I would be as big as a barn if I had you cooking for me, but I think it might be worth it. I did get your message and I commented back to you that I had no way of emailing but I am glad you let me know about the HG egg holders, You should do a post on them, I would love to see them, they sound darling. Thank you for following my blog and always leaving the nicest comments. I always look forward to seeing you there, Have a great weekend, and I love the pan, Kathysue

  22. Hi Allie and Pattie

    The copper pan looks so marvelous holding such a delicious meal! Roasted tomatoes are so flavorful..and served over pasta? Bravissima!

    ♥ Pat

  23. That looks amazingly great! MMMmmmm! I like your white plates!

  24. Oh that's a pot of super YUM!!!!

  25. j'arrive à sentir la bonne odeur de ce merveilleux et délicieux plat, il parait très appétissant
    bonne journée

  26. That pot is pretty fantastic! Your dish looks excellent! Love the anchovy addition!

  27. Everything, as usual, looks beautiful and your tomatoes and pasta truly sounds magnificent. Have a fantastic day. Blessings...Mary

  28. The copper pot truly did find a wonderful home! What you made in it sounds delightful and I'm saving a copy for when I can get fresh tomatoes from my garden!

  29. Congratulations for winning the beautiful pot! Your recipe sounds delicious. I will be trying it soon! (Minus the gorgeous copper pot, unfortunately!)

  30. Hello My Friend~ ~ ~Oh yes, it's good to have an Italian friend! I believe good cooking runs through your veins. This is a keeper I have printed the recipe.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  31. Oh my! This looks so good!! You are quite the amazing Italian cook my dear. The copper pan is wonderful too :-)

  32. Yum, yum, yummy!!!! Can I come for dinner...the meatballs look absolutely fabulous, all of it does. Thanks for sharing this lovely meal.
    Smiles Friend,

  33. I have many Italian cookbooks and have never seen this recipe. You can bet I'm going to try it--and soon. Um, may I borrow that pot?????


  34. thanks for info. please visit my blog

  35. First I really like your new blog design! So perfect for spring!

    And this dish looks incredible and fun to make too!

  36. What a lovely blog you 2 have here!! I love it!! Your dish sings to me!!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMM,...excellent food!

    Many greetings from Brussels, Belgium!

  37. Those chocolate eggs look fab! I just found you and think it is just adorable taht you share a blog. Will follow.

    PS: Love Italian food - grew up around italians in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I can't believe you all don't weight a ton?!

  38. The pot IS more than wonderful!!!
    (Thou shalt not covet Monique:) )..and I just had to say I tried a very similar recipe this past year w/ one big tomato in the center and it is a KEEPER..yours is even cuter w/ all of them..Deliciousness!

  39. Congrats on winning! Gorgeous table too!


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