Ingredients
  • 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
Preparation

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.