Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cherry Tomato Confit & Pasta

Cherry tomato confit is obtained by slowly cooking whole tomatoes in oil (preferably olive oil). You can do this on a stove top or in a baking pan in the oven. I used a baking pan in this recipe because less oil is required. On the stove top the tomatoes need to be covered in olive oil. I have been using a lovely high quality Greek olive oil and didn't want to use too much. My confit can actually be categorized as quick as it takes only 2 hours whereas, at a lower oven temperature, a confit can take up to half a day. Technically my tomatoes are only partially confit, and although slightly caramelized they are still quiet juicy which works well for this pasta dish. If you have more time try cooking them at 250F /120C for 5-6 hours. They will be drier and strongly flavored like sundried tomatoes, but not chewy.

My husband recently attended a BBQ where he ate heavily peppered freshly sliced tomatoes that were surprisingly delicious. Inspired by my husband's enthusiasm for this dish, and by a short description of another heavily peppered dish described below, I added a lot of pepper to my tomato confit pasta. The pepper's strong presence complimented the sweet caramelization of the tomatoes. Needless to say I have been heavy handed with the pepper these last few days. There is quite a lot of pecorino romano in this dish as well. Pecorino romano has made several appearances in my posts and I urge anyone to try using percorino romano in the place of parmesan. It's cheaper and has a superior fruity taste.

Here is a portion of an email I received from a chef I work with who experienced a heavily peppered Italian pasta dish while in Italy recently (please sit back in your seat so as not to drool on your keyboard):

Italy was glorious and the food is just ridiculous. None of it is complicated but the flavours are massive. One of the favourite things I had was a very simple pizza with zucchini flowers and a scattering of anchovies and cheese. Ridiculously tasty. Also, I like how cheap their cheeses are. We did a lot of buying at deli counters for picnics and easy dinners instead of going out all the time. Actually another of my favourite dishes was this Roman pasta classic called Cacio e Pepe. It's spaghetti with a lot of melted pecorino romano and coarsely ground black pepper (lots of it). Rrrrrrreally tasty. Kendra McKnight

Cherry Tomato Cofit with Pasta, Pecorino Romano & Freshly Cracked Pepper
Cherry Tomato Confit:
  • 2-3 pints whole cherry tomatoes
  • 250 ml /1 cup olive oil
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 10-15 cloves of garlic
Pre-heat oven to 300F/150C. Add all the ingredients to a baking pan. Cook in the middle rack of the oven for about 2 hours. At the end of cooking most of the tomatoes will have burst and they will have a slightly caramelized.
  • 450 g / 1 lb cooked hot spaghettini or other long pasta
  • 125 ml / 1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
  • generous amount of freshly cracked pepper
With a slotted spoon remove the tomatoes and garlic, and add to the hot pasta. Remove the rosemary from the oil and then add a few generous spoonfuls of the hot oil to the pasta. Add the cheese and toss gently. Serve with lots of pepper.
The left over oil can be used as a salad dressing or as a dipping oil for bread.

Definition of confit according to Wikipedia:
Confit (French, pronounced [kɔ̃fi] or in English "con-fee") is a generic term for various kinds of food that have been immersed in a substance for both flavor and preservation. Sealed and stored in a cool place, confit can last for several months. Confit is one of the oldest ways to preserve food,[citation needed] and is a speciality of southwestern France.
Lots of diffrent ways to confit tomatoes:


  1. The tomatoes are so bountiful in our planters I shall prepare this dish that looks heavenly... another great recipe thank you Tiffany.

  2. Thanks Claudie...Looks like I may see you at the end ofd July up north.


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