Now that my cooking hours have sharply increased this year (more about that when I can talk about it..), I tend to find myself cooking projects at the weekend, particularly things that require patience and slow, sustained cooking. Confit is one such method, and is one that is particularly in vogue with countless chefs. I figured that this method would work well with tomatoes that I had shamelessly bought out of season - but would yield a delicious bounty that would grace some perfectly cooked pasta and a torn ball of Buffalo Mozzarella. You need many hours for this, so it's a perfect job that you can start in the morning and enjoy the fruits of your labour in the evening.
To prepare the tomatoes (I used plump vine tomatoes for maximum flavour) they were first blanched in hot water and refreshed in iced water to remove their skins. The seeds and ribs were removed and the tomato flesh cut into quarters and laid flat on a shallow baking tray. These were then anointed with slivers of garlic and a few thyme leaves, some good extra virgin olive oil and Maldon or Halen Mon sea salt.
The tray is then put into a low oven (80 degrees) and left for at least three to four hours until the tomatoes are softly cooked and silky.
These became the perfect base for a light pasta sauce with a hint of garlic and tumbled through some Tagliatelle. Torn Mozzarella and basil leaves finished the dish off, along with a final drizzle of good olive oil.