Have we talked about oven dried tomatoes yet?   I don’t think so, but it’s time we did, because they are amazing.  I know tomatoes are on their way out but in case you still have some dangling on your plants or see a straggling container at the farmer’s market, this is what you’ll want to do with them.  Trust me.  Making oven dried tomatoes requires very little effort at all.  Simply halve the tomatoes, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake for a few hours at a low temperature.  As much as I love fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, I like them even better after they have been roasted.  It brings out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes, reminding me of a savory candy.

The first time I made this meal was on vacation for my family.  I threw this meal together on the fly from the random ingredients I had thrown into my shopping cart.  I didn’t have time to snap a photo then or jot down what I had done, but not too long after we returned I made it again so I could take notes, get a photo, and share it with all of you.  Prepping the tomatoes obviously takes a bit of forethought, but if you make them in advance, the rest of this becomes a quick meal for any night of the week.  The biggest challenge is not popping all those sweet little jewels right into your mouth instead of using them in the dish.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

  • Yield about 8 servings


1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Olive oil
Small pinch of sugar
Kosher salt and pepper
1 lb. bowtie pasta
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
¾ cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
6 oz. mascarpone cheese*
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

*Mascarpone cheese is similar to cream cheese and can be found in the specialty cheese section of most grocery stores.


  • 01

    To make the oven dried tomatoes, preheat the oven to 225˚ F.  Place the tomatoes in a small baking dish in a single layer, cut side facing up.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.  Bake for about 3 hours, or until the tomatoes are mostly shriveled up.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

  • 02

    Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Once boiling, cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain well.

  • 03

    While the pasta is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp to the pan and cook in a single layer, flipping once during cooking, just until opaque, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove to a plate, tent loosely with foil and set aside.  Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan.  Sauté the onion until slightly softened, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and sauté just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the wine or broth and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

  • 04

    Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Return the shrimp to the pan and add in the drained pasta along with the oven-dried tomatoes.  Add the mascarpone to the pan and stir until completely melted.  Stir in the basil and Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately with additional Parmesan as desired.