I’m all about smoking tomatoes these days. It’s a phase. But I’m not smoking them outside in a smoker because I don’t own one and honestly I have no idea about those contraptions (probably because I don’t own one?). I’m talking about super easy, mega convenient indoor smoking. Like, in a skillet. On the stovetop. Boom.
Did I just blow your mind?
Or maybe you’re like, duh Denisse, I’ve been indoor smoking for like, ever. Where have you been? But this is a recent discovery and still a novelty to me. I read about the technique in Bon Appétit a few months ago, in the front section called R.S.V.P where readers write in to request recipes for dishes that they’ve eaten at their favorite restaurants.
FYI, this is def my favorite section of the mag and I think it’s often overlooked. But I always find killer innovative recipes there that regularly make it into my repertoire, like this one- I think the original recipe was for a smoked tomato soup, which I made/adapted a couple of times and which was supremely delicious. And then of course I thought about all the other lovely things I could do with smoked tomatoes, like whipping them into a compound butter for steak and fish. Ah-mazing!
And then my mind went to pasta (because my mind always goes to pasta) and this beautiful smoked pomodoro pasta was born. It’s your basic homemade tomato sauce, but with a subtle smoky nuance that instantly elevates it to ohhh-this-is-something-special status. And all it takes is that one extra-easy yet extra-impressive step of smoking the tomatoes.
Any wood chips will do- I’ve used hickory and cherry wood so far and both have turned out incredible results. Fruit tree woods will give you a lighter hint of smokiness, and I detected a more pronounced flavor with the hickory. I’m itching to do lots more indoor smoking, especially as the weather cools down and I can fill the house with a warm, toasty scent. Tell me what else I should smoke next!
Smoked Pomodoro Pasta
This is no ordinary Pomodoro Pasta! The tomatoes used in the sauce are lightly smoked first to add an unexpected complexity to this dish.
- 1/2 cup wood chips
- 8 roma tomatoes halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 sprig fresh basil plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces linguine or other pasta
- Shaved parmesan for garnish (optional)
- Scatter wood chips in a medium cast-iron skillet and heat over high until chips begin to smoke, about 5 minutes. Cut a 24 inch sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold in half three times to make a thick square (or rectangle). Carefully place over chips and set tomato halves, cut sides up, on top; remove skillet from heat. Cover with foil and top with another medium skillet. Let tomatoes sit until barely softened and smoky, 5–8 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a plate and let cool slightly.
- Transfer tomatoes to a blender or food processor and puree to a chunky consistency. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over moderate heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, basil and salt. and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.
- Meanwhile, boil pasta according to instructions and drain.
- Add butter and balsamic vinegar to sauce during the last few minutes of cooking.
- Toss pasta with sauce and garnish with parmesan and basil, if desired.
Products I recommend for this recipe: