So they’re finally here. Tomatoes. First one, then three, now nine – all from our little garden. As you can see, they’re multiplying exponentially! But even if you don’t grow your own, you’ll find great tomatoes this time of year, and great tomatoes make the best Fresh Tomato Pasta.
Everyone should have this simple little back pocket recipe, Fresh Tomato Pasta, in their repertoire. So easy, and adaptable, and really just delicious, this Fresh Tomato Pasta can be made with any single tomato or any combination of tomatoes…
I like to vary dishes like this. Here I used fresh basil, but basil and a little thyme works; Italian seasoning works, too, and you couldn’t go wrong with a few red pepper flakes. A dab of tomato paste brings the tomato flavor forward, and if you’d like, you could add a little glug of wine. You can also add in artichoke hearts or sliced olives or anything your heart desires.
Best of all, Fresh Tomato Pastas like this take minutes to make – start when you put the pasta water on & it will be done before your pasta. I like to serve it with a few gratings of Parmesan cheese and a little Red Wine Vinegar on the side, just to perk things up.
This Fresh Tomato Pasta is a perfect example of a gourmet dish on a budget – at my house this would be considered a meal, maybe with a side of bread or Parmesan toast. My folks, who believe a “full square meal” consists of steak (preferably) or any large meat equivalent, balked a little. I’m happy to report all made it through dinner with flying colors and are still living.
Fresh Tomato Pasta
- 1 pound pasta
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- about 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, any kind or a combination, cut into 1″ chunks, the majority of seeds discarded or cut in half if cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of sugar, optional
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly grated Parmesan and Red Wine Vinegar (for serving)
Cook pasta as directed in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12″ skillet or wide heavy saucepan over medium-high. Add onions and cook until softened, then garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and stir until it loses the bright red color, then tomatoes, pepper, sugar if using, and salt as desired.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes release their juices to form a sauce, five to six minutes. Stir in herbs, reserving a few for the top. Add pasta to pan and toss.
Top each portion with Parmesan and pass the red wine vinegar.