Meatless Monday: Spaghetti with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Brie

I am a carnivore. I will admit that it's a challenge for me to come up with a vegetarian dish that will satisfy my soul.

I am doing better at it.  I am very proud of my Crispy Cheese Tacos, Cheesy Mock Tamales, and array of appetizers I posted here.

Every summer for 7 years in a row, we spent a week in late August at Picken's Landing, a resort in Manson, Eastern Washington with 8 or 9 rustic cabins on the property. The kids would spend all days playing outside or swimming in the lake with friends they met, who spent the same week with us year after year. They would come in only when they wanted something to drink or to eat.  I would bring some prepared food from home but we also depended largely on what we could find at the Farmers' market.  We would feast on juicy tomatoes, sweet corn, fragrant peaches, and other seasonal fruits and vegetables. When I had too many tomatoes and some of them got a bit too soft.  I would never fail to make this dish....spaghetti with tomatoes and brie.  It's perfect for a hot summer day when you don't want to heat up the house and it involves almost no cooking!

Find ripest, juiciest tomatoes you can, put in a large mixing bowl with some basil leaves, and with impeccably clean hands, squish them together into a chunky sauce.  You should have about two cups. Add about 14 oz. brie, cut into small pieces with rind removed, and let the sauce mingle together for a few hours at room temperature. Then boil a 16 oz. bag of spaghetti in salted water until al dente, immediately add the drained pasta to the sauce.  Add Parmesan cheese, about 1/4 cup or so. There is no need to add salt. Mix it well and voila....your dinner is ready.  There might be a bit of watery sauce at the bottom but don't worry, the spaghetti will soon absorb all the liquid and turn into gloriously, delicious, creamy pasta with almost no work!

Now it's no longer summer.

The other day I was at Costco.  I bought a bag of baby San Marzano tomatoes and roasted them in a 200F oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper, for 12 hours.  The tomatoes were still waiting for me in the fridge.  I also bought wheels of Costco mini brie, which are perfect to have around for impromptu dinner parties.  It was a week night dinner and I wanted to come up with something quick and easy.  It seemed logical that I make this dish.

With a glass of red wine and some salad,  we savored this dish, which brought back memories of how we always were in awe eating this on a deck overlooking Lake Chelan.  How could the dish that calls for almost no effort can be this delicious! And how we wish to be at that deck again. :(

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