Roasted Tomato Pasta [and a Le Creuset Giveaway!]

I’m rediscovering the simple pleasures of family dinners. Summertime plays a number on our regular routines. The kids scooter through the house and drink the neighbors gatorade for two of their three square daily meals. We run to the park in flip flopped feet at randome hours of the evening and drive cross country, then back again, eating whatever we can find that assumes the color green and doesn’t cause excessive grease dribble over our suntanned legs. 

In short, we stink at doing the basics for three months of the year. So, tonight when I asked the twins to set the table and they we actually in the house to do so (not wheeling around the culdesac on shiny bikes), I found myself pleasantly suprised.

I like pleasantly surprised, don’t you? We really ought to plan more pleasant surprises.

So, we gathered around the table with steaming bowls of pasta and the waftiness of garlic all around us. We held hands to pray, sent a squeeze between the bunch of us, then twirled noodles about our forks and debated the pros and cons of all sorts of nonsense.

I like debating nonsense.

Getting those spitfires a brewing in your belly makes you hungry. Lively conversation just makes a meal taste good. Winning the debate? Why, that’s just icing on the cake.  

Wanna feel the rush of winning something other than a debate? How about this gorgeous Heritage4 Quart Cocotte from Le Creuset!

Here’s the deal. Anyone who shares the best tip for making family dinners memorable, successful, or downright simple wins! Winner will be debated over and decided by my children. After all, it’s never to early to start a set of good, feisty conversationalists, eh? (Nor is it ever to early to help them learn a few tricks to helping mom in the kitchen during the busiest time of the day. Even more important that debating is being an intuitive helper, I’d say.) 

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Roasted Tomato, Garlic & Pine Nut Pasta

Ingredients:

1 package fettucine noodles, cooked
3 cups colorful cherry tomatoes
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup asagio or parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Toss the tomatoes in a baking dish lined with parchment paper or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the garlic and olive oil, then drizzle over your tomatoes. Toss basil into the mix. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss your dish in the oven and allow the tomatoes to roast for 15-20 minutes, or until they "pop" and begin to turn ever so slightly golden brown around the edges of the skin.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and pour skins, flesh, juices and all into your bowl of pasta. Toss with parmesan cheese, sprinkling toasted pine nuts over the top. Serve immediately and en.joy!

Disclaimer: Thanks to Le Crueset for sponsoring this giveaway. I was not compensated for this giveaway, nor to express positive opinions about the product. But, holy flicker! Have you USED Le Creuset. The best. The end. (The previous three sentences were my own unabashed opinions. Double The End.)

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75 Responses to “Roasted Tomato Pasta [and a Le Creuset Giveaway!]”

  1. 51

    Laura Brown on September 2, 2011 at 8:28 am Reply

    I think the things that make family dinners so fun is when you can make or grow as much of the food yourself. When I was growing up, near the end of summer, everything on our dinner table we either grew in our garden, made with our hands, or raised from a chick/piglet. It was so fun to see the fruits of our (ok, mainly my mom’s) labor. Things stay simple that way too because you don’t have to run out to the store for something you forgot and it is just whole, healthy, and good food. Nothing better!

  2. 52

    Valerie R on September 2, 2011 at 9:09 am Reply

    I love to do Friday night movie and floor picnics! It took my husband a little while to enjoy this. He didn’t see the fun of sitting on the floor to eat. My son and I loved it from the start. We lay out a blanket and giant pillows grab what ever we decided was good to eat with the movie. It doesn’t matter what we eat either. I could be pizza, cheese and crackers, leftovers, whatever! We just love the time we spend watching a funny movie and snuggling on the floor with our dinner! Perfect way to end our crazy week!

  3. 53

    Katie on September 2, 2011 at 11:35 am Reply

    Oh my word, your pictures are so stinking beautiful! Hooray for Colorado sunshine, right?

    Also, I used to nanny for a family that had a giant chalkboard calendar on their kitchen wall and the kiddos go to add their two cents about what should be for dinner that week. They each had a different colored piece of chalk, and they wrote their suggestions down on the day of the calendar they requested their meal. Not every meal was chosen by them (uh, ice cream for dinner is only acceptable once in a while), but it gave them such ownership, I don’t think they really cared. I would love to do that with my family someday!

  4. 54

    Jennifer on September 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm Reply

    At this time in my life they way to make a family meal fun, special and memorable is involving my 4 year old and 6 year old in setting the dining room table instead of the less special kitchen table. After the table is set, we light candles. Lighting candles signifies a special dinner with just the four of us and each time we do it we have a great family dinner. I hope this tradition continues and my children always look forward to candle lit dinners with our family!

  5. 55

    Melissa@IWasBornToCook on September 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm Reply

    Helping with cooking, contributing to conversation, laughing, sharing thoughts and dreams, and doing a little clean-up. That all makes a family meal pretty memorable :)

  6. 56

    Veronica @ Café con Leche on September 4, 2011 at 12:29 am Reply

    Though its really basic, the best way to have a memorable and successful dinner is to eat AS A FAMILY!! These days people get so busy with activities, school, work, and technology, that we forget how to communicate with each other – just people to people! Sitting down for a meal with your family helps you catch up with each other and enjoy each other. The memories I have around the dinner table are some of the best :)

  7. 57

    Kariah on September 4, 2011 at 10:58 am Reply

    I think back to the memories I have of eating as a child and they are very positive. Food was a chance for everyone not only to eat together but to be involved and be with each other. My dad always made breakfast and my mom made dinner. On the weekends, they worked together. I remember every day as a kid, coming upstairs (as early as 5:30 am and smelling fresh breakfast that included a variety of pancakes, oatmeal, waffles, egg sandwiches, biscuits, eggs, etc. It made such a difference that my dad would get up before us and actually make breakfast for us so we could start the day off well. Then, every day we were required to be home at 6 to eat as a family and my mom always made a healthy meal and we always ate together. On the weekends, my dad had an amazing ability to throw together a bunch of leftover foods and make a yummy meal and my mom always tried a new dessert each Sunday. As a parent now, I want to take these fond memories and create them for my own children. I think food has the power to bring people together and has a way of make people feel loved.

  8. 58

    Meghan on September 4, 2011 at 11:42 am Reply

    I ensure that while they are young enough they will help contribute to meals. This means either gathering fresh veggies from the garden or by helping to cook the meal. Even if it’s in some small way, we all feel that the time spent together not only makes us a stronger family unit but makes us appreciate the food more.

  9. 59

    Maggie on September 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm Reply

    What we did in my family as a kid was share a high point and low point of the day. You had to have a high point, aka the best part of your day, but you didn’t have to share a worst. It was a great way to think about your day and share it with everyone! It is something that my husband and I will do with our future little ones one day :-)

  10. 60

    lynette on September 5, 2011 at 6:52 am Reply

    When I was growing up, we always had a nice family dinner,table set,blessing said, pass the potatoes,hand in your lap, and then me and my sisiter would get the silly giggles, uh oh- that meant being banished from the table! So when I became a parent, I wanted diner to be enjoyable. I mean who wants to spend all that time preparing dinner and it not fun? I’m not talking food fights or anything vulgar, but ya gotta laugh. And especially since my brood has flown the nest I hope they remember dinnertime as a special time to enjoy each other after a long day of work, school, laundry, &blah, blah blah.

  11. 61

    Andrea Jones on September 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm Reply

    My boys love to set the table “fancy”. They use the china, the candles, tablecloth, and the good silver. Why save the good stuff? What’s more special than dinner with our family.

  12. 62

    Cheryl W. on September 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm Reply

    I am a strong believer that a family should sit down and eat a meal together. It is a time for reflection and for sharing challenges and victories. How we make our meals together memorable is we set the table nicely, turn the lights down dim and light candles for a comfy, cozy, homey feel, then we turn on some relaxing music and have it playing softly in the background. Since my eldest son has moved off to the oil fields, he says this is one thing that he misses so much, so I guess it is pretty memorable to him. He can’t wait to come on break.

  13. 63

    Beth J on September 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm Reply

    I get my kids excited about dinner by having them help make it when there is time and helping me to plot up a great dessert. We think of ways to incorporate our favorite goodies and laugh at all the crazy ideas.

  14. 64

    Natasha on September 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm Reply

    All at the table with grace and light conversation about the day with a few “thank you mommy”‘s in between seems to work for us. We are always a fan of Trivial pursuit cards to mix it up.

  15. 65

    Anna on September 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm Reply

    Most evenings we try to have everyone sit down for a simple, nourishing meal. But sometimes? Sometimes you just have to have ice cream sundaes for dinner…and that’s it :)

  16. 66

    Carolyn on September 7, 2011 at 11:20 am Reply

    My children’s favorite was when I made breakfast for dinner. Often our mornings were crazy busy, not enough time for fabulous waffles, pancakes, omelets or crepes. So, they LOVED it when I would take the time to do that for dinner. Our best conversations and fun times were laughing over bacon, sausage and breakfast fun at night!

  17. 67

    Christa M. on September 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm Reply

    We spend every Sunday piled up at my mom’s house. Me, my sister and her family, my aunt & uncle, my grandparents…everyone within driving distance who just wants to hang out, bake, cook, eat, drink coffee and watch football/baseball/golf/other-seasonal-sporting-event is welcome. My niece & nephews keep us all entertained, and we end up with a huge potluck of a meal. Everyone pitches in with the cooking and cleaning up. There is not a shy one amongst us, so debates flare up and die down throughout the afternoon and evening. After dinner, it is usually just mom, sis, the kids and I left. We give the kidlets their baths, tuck them into their jammies and relax in for a last snuggle with just our nuclear family before diving into the upcoming work week. I hope the kids will always look forward to Sundays at Mom’s. We are so blessed to have such a close-knit family.

  18. 68

    Misty maretzky on September 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm Reply

    We keep a bowl of scrabble letters on the table…everyone draws 10 letters and when anyone makes a word, they tell the table and it always either leads to something or we can use all words to create a story, etc…. endless conversation possibilities and as Im a mom to 2 boys and my hubby, I need to stimulate some conversation :)

  19. 69

    melyssa on September 11, 2011 at 11:29 am Reply

    We pick a secret code word of the day–and a prize for whoever says the word. So at dinner, during conversation, the kids say all sorts of sentences trying to figure out what it is.

    For example, if the word is tomato, we’d give them the hint that it’s a food. The rule is that they MUST bring it up in a regular sentence.

    So they’ll try: “Mom, this meatloaf is good! Are we having CORN on the cob tomorrow?”

    We usually end up giving them more hints as dinner progresses, but it’s a fun way to keep them talking!

  20. 70

    Debi on September 13, 2011 at 7:22 am Reply

    Let them cook! Once a week my son was responsible for dinner.
    We had pigs in a blanket, and canned cream of potato soup (only soup he would eat). My husband and I set down at ate like we had just been served a gourmet meal. It ALWAYS mad my son feel like he had accomplished a really good moment for us.

  21. 71

    Abby West on September 13, 2011 at 7:51 am Reply

    My four daughters love to play restraurant. My oldest makes a menu (I tell her what is available to put on it). I help them make dinner and then I let them serve us. Afterwords of course, we must pay up. It is almost always worth it but not realistic for every night. Just really fun once in awhile. I just found your blog and couldn’t love it more. Especially the info you blessed me with regarding your summer (eerily similar to ours) and of course, the blog post where you sent a write off blessing to your sink. Mine was only forgiven 77 times as our translation must be different. I loved it! Thanks for the blessing of your site!

  22. 72

    Jamie on September 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm Reply

    That pasta is the most incredible thing I have seen in awhile! Yum!

  23. 73

    Debbie Jones on September 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm Reply

    I think one of the best things to do for a family during meal time is just simply having it together (without the tv etc.). There’s nothing like good food, with good fellowship. Also, some other things that I think would make the meal fun is to create decorative foods. Maybe not every dish, but at lease one special dish for each meal that is pretty, funny or just something that went along with the occasion. Another thing I always enjoy is using themes during meals and special occasions. Planning themes or decorative foods could be something you and your children discuss during meals and plan doing together as a family for a special meal just one day of the week.

  24. 74

    Spices of India on March 19, 2013 at 3:35 am Reply

    This receipe hjas now become special for me.

  25. 75

    Balkl鋘ningar on May 4, 2013 at 9:04 am Reply

    Sites of interest we have a link to…

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