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Rigatoni with roasted plum tomatoes, caramelized red onions, and mint

“Can you cook me some pasta tomorrow evening? I really feel like pasta. It’s been a while since I have eaten it”: my Italian husband said.

Having been living in Italy for more than 10 years, and specially having been married to an Italian, I discover that pasta is for Italians what rice and beans are for Hondurans. We gotta have it – if not daily – almost every day of the week.

Compared to the average Italian household,  I do not cook pasta often. This is partly because I am not Italian, so to me eating pasta every day is repetitive; partly because I am proud of my Latin American and Honduran culinary roots and I love showing my Italian friends how delicious and rich our culinary traditions are; and partly due to my strong Palestinian background, which keeps me cooking Middle Eastern dishes. Most of all, I love variety but it is hard to cook different cuisines in a country with a deep-rooted gastronomic culture. Therefore, Italian cooking is slightly predominant in my kitchen.

And this time is no exception…

Rigatoni with roasted plum tomatoes, caramelized red onions, and mint


  • 1 1/2 cup small plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium/big red onion
  • 200 gr (7 ounces) of Rigatoni pasta
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Pecorino cheese
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 30 ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Rigatoni –  a ribbed, tubular type of pasta, larger than penne and maccaroni.


Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).  Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes.

Roasted tomatoes. Let it cool for about 15-20 minutes.

Peel tomatoes and discard skins.

On a skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium – high heat, and add diced garlic cloves until golden. Discard garlic and add onions. Reduce heat to low. Cook for about 30 minutes. If you prefer, add some water to prevent onions from burning. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Caramelized onions.

Add tomatoes, lemon juice, and mint.

Following package instructions, cook Rigatoni in a pot over boiling water. When cooked, drain water from Rigatoni, and bring Rigatoni  back to the pot. Add tomatoes, onions, and mint mixture to Rigatoni. Add Pecorino cheese.

Close the pot with the lid. Holding both handles with the hands and pressing down to seal the pot, shake the pot to allow ingredients to blend well.

Serve immediately.

 Serves 2.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a rich culinary background you have. Although, like your husband I could eat pasta about every day too! This looks simply wonderful.

    July 1, 2011
    • Next time I’ll make fusion Italian-Latin American.jajaja…

      July 1, 2011
  2. Mmmm… I could eat pasta EVERY day!! Unfortunately, like you, my guests don’t feel the same. Love the sauce with the carmelized onions and roasted tomatoes!!

    July 1, 2011
    • Pasta is great!! But I also love my Honduran rice, beans, yuca, plantains, and sopa de caracol!!!

      July 1, 2011
  3. My Spanish husband is still coming round to pasta, but I think I´m getting there. Like you I am adapting to a new cokking culture (Spanish) and bringing in what I know best (Italian) and then all the wonderful mixtures of cultures we take for granted in the UK. This looks and sounds delicious and the tomatoes look so tasty!

    July 1, 2011
    • Exactly!! In countries where you have a mixture of cultures – and that includes Honduras – you take variety for granted. Only when you go off to live in a country such as Spain or Italy, which have strong gastronomic cultures, you miss having different options.

      July 1, 2011
  4. I just love your blog and keep going back to reread them. Unfortunately every time I do I get so hungry. The flavors of this dish,,,the roasted tomatoes, the caramelized onions and then two surprises, lemon juice and mint. It sounds so wonderful.

    July 18, 2011
    • Thank you! I thought adding lemon to contrast the sweetness of onions and tomatoes, would give a nice balance to the dish! The mint added a touch of freshness

      July 19, 2011

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