Crispy Slow-Roasted Tomato Pasta

My lovely friend Anna is visiting us for the week and she shared this amazing AH-MAZING recipe that she makes with her fella (also our brilliant friend) Ben a lot in their home of Stroud, Gloucestershire, England.

They got the idea for this incredible pasta sauce from a list of Nigel Slater’s most popular dishes of the last ten years for the Observer Food Monthly. It’s designed as a side dish but Ben and Anna discovered it works exceedingly well stirred through some pasta. Having tried it today, I would most certainly concur.

Apart from this recipe, some other things Anna brought over to us from Stroud were her homegrown yellow tomatoes – which we used in the dish – as well as the words yumbo scrumbo and cooly-wow. Both of which you should expect to see a lot more on this blog in the future.

I couldn’t believe how easy this was to put together and how completely amazing it tasted. It needs about 40 minutes to cook but other than that there really isn’t much to it at all.

Nigel Slater’s original recipe used large tomatoes and suggested serving it as a side dish, which is a jolly good idea. He also has a slightly more fiddly method to making it than the way myself and Anna made it today, so have a look at his version over here to see which method you’d prefer to use.

What you need for Ben and Anna’s Crispy Slow-Roasted Tomatoes with loads of lovely things in it  for 3 to 4 people

About 15 to 18 cherry tomatoes (or 6 large tomatoes) 

3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked

1 large clove of garlic, finely crushed

About 25g of fresh white breadcrumbs (the original recipe calls for 80g which would be great for a side dish. For pasta though, I’ve used closer to 25g and then 50g another time. It seems that less is actually more in this recipe!)

6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped



Olive Oil

About 450g (or enough for 3 to 4 people) of the pasta of your choice 

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas Mark 4.

Halve the tomatoes and arrange in a large roasting tin, with the cut side up. (I’ve said to use 15 to 18 cherry tomatoes, and that just depends on the size of them. The ones I get from Home Organics are on the large side, and are bursting with flavour at the moment. Basically, fill up your roasting tin but keep the tomatoes in one even layer, without over-lapping them.)

Pick the leaves from the thyme sprigs and sprinkle them over the tomatoes.

Crush the garlic clove – or finely chop it – and sprinkle over the tomatoes.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over everything.

Finely chop the anchovy fillets and sprinkle them over the breadcrumbed dish.

Sprinkle with a good bit of salt and pepper.

Finally, drizzle with a generous load of olive oil. About 4 to 6 tablespoons.

Pop the roasting dish into the oven for 40 minutes. The tomatoes will disintegrate and become caramelised and sticky and just incredamaze.

After the tomatoes have been in the oven for 30 minutes, you can start making your pasta.

(We used orecchiete which takes about 12 minutes to cook. You can use any pasta you like, as this sauce would go with anything. The orecchiette is great because it collects the sauce in its shells, so if you wanted to go for a similarly shelly pasta that’d work well.)

In a saucepan of boiling water, cook your chosen pasta according to the packet’s instructions.

Once the tomatoes have had 40 minutes, turn off the oven.

Once the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the saucepan. Now you can take the tomatoes from the oven and throw the lot into the saucepan, mixing well until the pasta is evenly coated with the tomatoes.

Serve it with a bit of Parmesan cheese.

The result is a sweet, crispy, tasty party in your mouth. Yumbo scrumbo.


This is a track especially for Ben and Anna. Little Roy reggae version of Nirvana’s Lithium. Awesome-bo.

Categories: Dinner Tags: ,


  1. Looks savage.I have been threatening to make that Nigel Slater recipe for years but never have, I’d say the homegrown tomatoes just made it so much better. Also, that Judge Roy album sounds brilliant! Cheers for the heads up.

  2. Hey Stef – definitely a winner of a recipe! And the link above with the other ten most popular is a real keeper. Definitely working my way through those recipes. Possibly while listening to Judge Roy’s album on repeat :)

    • Haha. I’ve basically just listened to the entire album on Youtube in the past half hour. Am a huge Nirvana fan, wore out my tape of Unplugged when I was younger I listened to it so much! Will defo check out that list of Nigel Slater recipes too.

  3. Looks amazing – will be doing this tonight. am a huuuuge fan of tomatoes, and to have some lovely home grown ones like that – lucky you! Luckily the fruit and veg shop on my way home does some lovely ones too

    • Hey Pob, thanks for the comment. Definitely give this one a go, it’s a winner! And tomatoes are the biz, that’s for sure.

  4. Hey Aoife,
    It looks and sounds so fab i am actually cooking it for dinner for Alan.

  5. Very sweet.

    Fyi, it’s actually coulis-wow — like the food. It’s always food related with us. We’ve one-track minds. Another one is “awesumbo”. These should all be credited to Izzy Gibbin, though. She created them in her dreams. Literally.

  6. Coulis-wow aside, I also suggest stirring crumbled feta in with the tomato and pasta mixture when it’s ready to serve. I think the feta really makes it. I would, though, being a filthy Greek and all.

  7. God, three in a row! It just occurred to me that “awesumbo” isn’t food related. Egg + chin … you do the math.

    • Hey Ben! Actually Anna told us about the provenance of Coulis-wow (I stand corrected) and Yumbo Scrumbo. She also told us of awesumbo which is another amazing mouthy word to add to my repertoire.

      Definitely with you on adding feta to this. I can NOT wait to make this dish again. I’ve been thinking about it since we made and ate it yesterday. So SO delicious! So thanks for sharing it with us :)

  8. Made this last night! Served it over white beans instead of pasta, but will definitely try it over pasta soon. Yumbo scrumbo indeed. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Hey Lucy, great idea to serve this over beans. It’s such an amazing sauce, it’d taste good slathered over pretty much everything.

      Except maybe Cornflakes.

      But still, it’s a winner! Thanks for the comment :)

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  11. I made this dish last week with the last of my Dad’s home-grown tomatoes, it was delicious. I especially loved the anchovies in it.Yum

    • Hi Vicky, so glad the dish went well for you. The anchovies definitely make it for me, and I’m sure your Dad’s home-grown tomatoes made your version extra special!