A cheery cherry-tomato pasta dish

DINNER TONIGHT

October 12, 2005

Time to face the truth: Tomato season is nearly over. But here's something to cheer you up: Cherry tomatoes can be counted on year-round to deliver a bright, sunny, sweet-tart flavor. This pasta dish uses the oven to bake the tomatoes for a short time to exploit their flavor.

Menu Suggestion

Cheery cherry-tomato pasta

Sauteed spinach with lemon and butter

Sliced focaccia

Tiramisu

Cheery Cherry-Tomato Pasta

4 servings -- Total time: 45 minutes

1/2 pound spaghettini

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon each: butter, vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup dry red wine

1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup shredded fresh basil

grated parmesan or Romano cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a stockpot of salted water to a boil; add pasta. Cook according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, place tomato halves on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray; bake until wrinkled and caramelized, about 10 minutes.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion; cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, wine, salt and pepper to taste; cook until mushrooms are heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and basil. Combine with pasta in a large bowl; pass cheese for serving.

Per serving: 291 calories, 7.5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 7 milligrams cholesterol, 48 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 322 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber

Recipe and analysis from the Chicago Tribune

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