My love affair with roasted cherry tomatoes started in Italy. I was renting a room in an apartment in Rome back in 2012, and had a perfect view of a fantastic Mom & Pop pizza place across the street. Every morning I’d wake to the most beautiful aroma pushing its way into my room; robust and sweet, warm and homey, I’d lay in my bed, inhale, and smile so wide my jaw throbbed. By mid-morning I was dashing across the street to buy a slice of pizza (more like 4). The woman who owed the pizza joint wasn’t the friendliest person in the world, and at first I thought she hated me. Perhaps, I guessed, it was because I was too lazy to learn basic Italian, let’s face it, people tend to get upset when you point to their food and than to your mouth and make moaning sounds. The first time I entered that pizza joint I pointed to what I wanted, licked my lips and fanned out my Euros.   Soon I was indulging in some of the best pizza I had eaten in Italy.  -Bread dough stretched out in a flat pan, covered from edge to edge with roasted cherry tomatoes, no cheese. It was a work of art, vibrantly red, just beautiful.  -The funny thing was this, before Italy, I was not a fan of  cherry tomatoes, but I learned, when roasted they’re extraordinarily flavorful. Now I don’t do without. 

As the weeks passed the constant scowl on the woman’s face became charming to me, and by the time I left Rome, she actually smiled at me. In my mind, we had become the very best of friends because after all, who wouldn’t want an elderly lady who makes the best pizza in the world to be their best friend? Plus I made her rich, I ate there almost everyday, no joke. The pizza was that good… 

Since my glory days in Rome, I make that pizza all the time, and I roast cherry tomatoes weekly in my humble abode in Boston. I smear those roasted babies on bread, on pizza dough, I use them in omelets, eat them with cheese, toss them with pasta, place them over steamed veggies…

This is how you do it: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, toss the cherry tomatoes in olive oil, sea salt and roast in a hot oven 400 until brown, black, and deeply red. When they are cool, place in a jar with garlic and black pepper, and cover with olive oil. Thank me.



About johncpicardi

Welcome to my blog. I am the author of the novel Oliver Pepper's Pickle and the published plays The Sweepers and Seven Rabbits on a Pole, both plays have been produced off Broadway and around the US. I am a graduate of Johnson & Wales University where I majored in Culinary arts. I have a BA from The University of Massachusetts and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. This blog is about food and food memories and every other fantastic and scrumptious thing to do with it. My appetite and passion for food is large and runs deep, sometimes its indulgent and wild and other times wholesome and simple, often humorous and always immeasurable. I grew up outside of Boston and spent many hours of my childhood in front of the TV watching Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet) and Julia Child prepare all kinds of luscious meals that would make my mouth water. Other days I’d follow my mother and two grandmothers around their simple, tidy kitchens as they busily prepared hearty fragrant meals, hand-cut pastas, preserved fruits and vegetables, baked yeasty breads, spicy cookies and frosted lopsided cakes. I was there by their side asking questions and helping where needed and there were plenty of times I was ordered to leave if I was in their way. It was a given that by the time I graduated High School I would be going off to Johnson & Wales University to study Culinary Arts. Those years were fine and good. I loved the hands on creativeness of cooking whether it be the simple lesson of washing a sink full of colorful salad greens, trussing a chicken or peeling a gorgeous carrot or the complicated lessons of making a French Country Pate or Julia Child’s Cassoulet or making Brioche, it all thrilled me and my dream had arrived!
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