- 1 ½ pounds cherry and/or grape tomatoes (preferably of varying colors)
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling if desired
- ¾ teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water and seasoning
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnishing
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 2 ½ ounces sliced dry salami, cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh oregano
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 6 to 8 ounces fresh water buffalo cheese, mozzarella pearls, or diced fresh mozzarella
- 2 ounces baby arugula or baby spinach
- 8 ounces dry pasta or 16 ounces fresh pasta, such as penne, cavatappi, or rigatoni
- ¼ cup chiffonade of fresh basil, plus more for garnishing
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and position a rack in the upper third of the oven.
Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place the tomatoes on the sheet pan and drizzle with ¼ cup of the olive oil. Season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Scatter the thyme sprigs and garlic cloves among the tomatoes and toss everything well to coat. Transfer to the oven and roast until the tomatoes are caramelized on top and have burst and released some of their liquid, usually about 20 minutes.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven, discard the thyme sprigs and transfer the garlic cloves to a cutting board. Finely chop the garlic (or use the side of your knife to smash it into a smooth paste) and transfer to a large heatproof bowl with the blistered tomatoes. Fold in the salami, balsamic vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano, shallot, cheese, arugula, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package direction to al dente. Strain it and immediately, reserving ½ cup pasta water, and add it to the bowl along with the tomatoes and salami. Add the basil and toss quickly to combine. Add the reserved pasta water as needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serve the pasta hot or warm, garnished with additional basil, a sprinkling of black pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if desired.