Drizzle Homemade Tomato Oil On Your Next Pasta Dish For A Burst Of Flavor

Infused oils are easy homemade projects that will take any dish you drizzle them over to elegant and flavorful heights. While herbs and aromatics are common infusion agents, tomato oil provides a tantalizing burst of umami and a sophisticated finish to all kinds of pasta dishes.

While you can buy tomato-infused oil online or in a specialty deli, making it from scratch is straightforward and customizable. The most basic tomato oil recipe involves roasting or otherwise cooking the tomatoes to concentrate their flavors. This recipe for charred tomato oil from Tasting Table places cherry tomatoes and garlic under the broiler to impart caramelized and smoky flavors into the oil. The ingredients are then briefly infused for 30 minutes in olive oil before being blended. The heat from the roasted tomatoes will heat the oil, facilitating the infusion of flavors. 

Once blended, you'll give the mixture a second resting period to further infuse the oil before passively straining the mixture through cheesecloth. By letting only gravity strain the oil, you're taking on a few extra hours for the flavors to meld together. Aromatics aren't the only ingredients you can add to tomato oil; rosemary, oregano, cracked black pepper, and chili peppers would all make delicious savory and spicy complements to highlight umami-rich tomatoes. For an extra burst of umami flavor, you can add oil-packed anchovies, olives, or miso paste.

Best pasta pairing for tomato oil

As a finishing touch, tomato oil will enrich almost any pasta recipe you have in mind. It will enhance a tomato-based sauce like a bolognese ragu or marinara sauce. It adds a burst of umami to a creamy ricotta pasta or bechamel-based cheese sauce. You can also use tomato oil as a flavorful base for basil or cilantro pesto. For a cold pasta salad, tomato oil would be the perfect base for a dressing to blend with sherry vinegar, lemon zest, oregano, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

Not only will tomato oil make a wonderful finishing drizzle to classic pasta dishes, but you can also use it as a cooking oil to add a richer, tastier foundation to homemade sauces or added vegetables and proteins. You could use it in this way to tomato-up a classic cacio e pepe sauce; the tomato oil will be an umami complement for salty pecorino and spicy black pepper. Or use tomato oil, fresh garlic, and white wine to create a saute sauce for shrimp, mussels, and calamari to pour over angel hair pasta. You can also use tomato oil to cook pasta toppings like pancetta and portobello mushrooms to infuse them with an extra layer of flavor.