32 cocktail tomatoes (they’re a little larger than cherry tomatoes) or 3 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons thyme leaves stripped from stems
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for liberal drizzling (4 tablespoons or so)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup chicken or veal stock
A handful of parsley, chopped
A handful of basil, torn
1 cup milk
1 pound bucatini
Grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
Preheat oven to 400°F.
On a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, arrange tomatoes, garlic and thyme. Drizzle with EVOO and toss to coat. Roast 30 minutes until the tomatoes burst. Slide everything into a food processor and purée.
Heat a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, and beef. Season with salt and pepper, and brown and crumble. Add onions and cook until soft; add stock. Add tomato purée and stir in parsley, basil and milk. Simmer 30-40 minutes to thicken.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and pasta, and cook to al dente. Reserve 1 cup starchy water then drain pasta and return it to the hot pot. Toss pasta with starchy water, half the sauce and a drizzle or two of EVOO to coat.
Serve pasta topped with more sauce and some Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.