I admit that I'm always the first to complain about hot and humid summertime temperatures. I adore Fall and am really a big baby about Summer. But this season has its perks, too - the sound of the ice cream truck rolling by, kids giggling as they race through the sprinkler, the cool breeze blowing off the ocean during vacation.

And another perk - one of my favorites - fresh tomatoes! You just can't beat a homegrown, fresh, summertime tomato.

We always plant at least a dozen tomato plants in our garden each year, including small cherry tomatoes up to big, slicing heirlooms. So once the summer gets underway, my kitchen is normally over-flowing with tomatoes and I'm always looking for creative ways to use them up.

This recipe is one of my favorites because it comes together in just a few minutes, utilizes pantry and garden staples, and is of course delicious. It is a summertime hit at our house.

Oven-Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes with Pasta and Pancetta


  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes or other small, round tomato
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz. pasta of your choice (farfalle or penne work great here)
  • 4 oz. chopped, pancetta
  • fresh basil


  1. Boil water in a large pot and cook pasta according to package directions while you prepare the rest of the dinner.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Rinse tomatoes and cut about half of them in half, lengthwise. Leave the remaining tomatoes whole.
  4. Thinly slice shallots.
  5. On a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or covered in parchment paper, spread out tomatoes and shallots. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes. When tomatoes begin to brown and burst, they are ready.
  6. While tomatoes roast, saute pancetta in olive oil until crisp.
  7. Combine pasta, roasted tomatoes, and pancetta in a large serving bowl and mix well. Top each serving with freshly, chopped basil. Yields 4-6 servings.