Baba’s Masterpiece–Pan Roasted Tomato Spaghettini


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(a.k.a. “You Just Got Schooled By Your Dad” Sauce)



Baba’s Pan Roasted Tomato Spaghettini



  • Basket of garden fresh tomatoes
  • Fist fulls of garden fresh herbs (Baba used mostly flat leaf Italian parsley and a little rosemary here)
  • Half bulb of garlic
  • Copious olive oil
  • Salt and pepper and a little sugar for sprinkling
  • *1 pound box DeCecco #11 spaghettini


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350F

Step 2

Coat the bottom of a large oven roasting pan with olive oil.(6-8T) Nestle cored and halved tomatoes face up until nicely snuggled in their pan. (Depending on size of tomatoes, size of your pan, 6-ish tomatoes.)

Step 3

Finely chop half a bulb of garlic (non-Italians, this is half bulb, not half clove! about 6-8 cloves) and sprinkle across bed of tomatoes.

Step 4

Finely chop 2-3 fist fulls of fresh flat leaf Italian parsley and a pinch of fresh and finely chopped rosemary (rosemary optional), sprinkle across bed of tomatoes.

Step 5

Season with salt, pepper, and just a tiny pinch of sugar one each tomato.

Step 6

Drizzle pan of loaded tomatoes with copious olive oil (don’t be stingy folks, load ‘em up– a teaspoon/tomato as a guide, but go with your gut.)

Step 7

Bake them uncovered for 1.5-2 hours at 350F. “I like ‘em real dry and real roasted,” Baba said.

Step 8

When tomatoes are done roasting, pull them out and with a fork and knife, cut them into fine pieces, using a criss-cross method until you have a very finely minced, thick sauce.

Step 9

Cook 1 pound DeCecco #11 spaghettini in plenty of salted water. Toss cooked spaghetti straight in the pan of finely chopped, roasted tomato mixture. The thinner ‘spaghettini’ is an excellent marriage of sauce and pasta here. The finer strands are an outstanding canvas to hold on to the thick, sweet tomatoes, yet stand up firmer than angel hair so you can really sink your teeth into every herb roasted bite. * If you can’t find #11, then use regular DeCecco spaghetti. Mariano’s, Pete’s Fresh Market, Frankie’s Deli usually carry this size.

“You roasted them for two hours at 350F?” I asked my dad, (a.k.a. Baba).  “Don’t they burn?”

“No!” Baba said, then tilted his head, “Well, there is a little brown on the bottom of the pan, you can see it, but it tastes great and I like it real dry and sweet.”

I picked up the fork and twirled a small mound in the round, metal pan. (This is home, we dive in at the counter when necessary.) “I’m not that hungry,” I said, “I’ll just try a little–”

“Oh my GOD!” I said out loud.

A phrase popped into my head as I exhaled the artistic genius of this simple and exquisite dish: ‘You just got schooled by da master’.


The finer ‘spaghettini’ stands up to sauce, yet slips through the thick, sweet tomatoes easily.


Another glorious creation I watched my dad build in the 1970′s: the stone bridge over the creek at home.
The ‘Florida Room”, at home.  Peter and I exchanged our wedding vows in the background on the raised bed in front of family and friends over 20 years ago.
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Baba is the nickname we gave..

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