Late Summer Baked Macaroni

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes-split in half
  • 12 garlic cloves-peeled, left whole
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni or any favorite pasta-cooked, drained
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves-cut into little strips or torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • To taste salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss the cherry tomatoes, onions and garlic with the first measure of olive oil, sprinkled lightly with salt. Arrange tomatoes and garlic in a single layer on a baking sheet, with the cut side of the tomatoes facing up. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until very softened and smaller in size.

In a bowl, toss together the pasta, basil, half of the Parmesan and mozzarella, basil, and the roasted tomato/garlic mixture. Pour the pasta mixture into a greased baking dish. Place the panko bread crumbs in a bowl and combine with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Drizzle in the olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss well . Spread an even layer of the bread crumb mixture over the pasta. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Serve and enjoy! Recipe serves four.

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