Food Friday: Summer Spaghetti

Well, the calendar may be pointing to fall, but the tomatoes, they keep on coming. Tonight we’re going to have a summer favorite, Summer Spaghetti, also known in our house as Jess’ mom’s summer pasta. Or just tomato-basil pasta.

Now, I’m not sure that I make it just like anyone in Jess’s family—in fact I don’t even make it the same way twice. So this isn’t really a recipe, but more of a gentle suggestion for turning a popular summer salad into a meal that even kids will eat.

In this case, I have more cherry tomatoes than I know what to do with, so I will take care of most of them by making this. The rest will go into tomato soup, since I don’t have to worry about skinning them. You can use cherry tomatoes or regular for this salad.

Summer Spaghetti

Cook a pound of pasta to package directions (despite the name, I rarely use spaghetti–gemelli, rotini and penne are all good shapes to try here).

While the pasta is cooking, chop your tomatoes and basil. How many tomatoes? As many as you have, or as many as you think you’d like to have in this salad. Helpful, eh? Try this. Take the bowl that you’ll be using to serve the pasta, and chop tomatoes until they fill the bottom third or so. You can always add more to make a more favorable pasta/tomato ratio later.

Once the tomatoes are chopped go twice around the bowl with a fruity green olive oil and once around the bowl with the best balsamic vinegar you can spring for. I sometimes add a little garlic to pep things up, too. Then stack a pile of fresh basil leaves together, roll them up and cut them into ribbons, and mix them in. Repeat as necessary for your basil preferences. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste, and wait for the pasta to cook and the tomato mixture to get juicy.

Once cooked, drain the pasta, cool it slightly and add it to the tomato-basil dressing. If you’ve got any interesting cheeses, or even just plain old supermarket mozzerella, dice it up and sprinkle it in.

Voila! Summer Spaghetti.

Yum. Summer isn’t quite over yet.

Thanks to all you Food Friday posters who are going strong, even when I don’t post on Fridays, I love it! Keep them coming!


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15 Responses to “Food Friday: Summer Spaghetti”

  1. MelodyA. Says:

    Mmmm, I’ll be right over… I could eat pasta every day.

  2. Maggie Says:

    Oh yum! That looks delicious!

  3. Toonsis Says:

    I love to make it with Tortellini. This year I planted 2 types of basil (Sweet and Spicy) and mixed them with the plum tomatoes I grew. Other then that the rest of the recipe is the same. Your photo of your summer spaghetti looks “delish” ! Thank You!

  4. Jayne Says:

    Anna, you rock! I don’t know who I admire more: you or Martha!

  5. Christina Says:

    Yum, that looks perfect right about now. But *pout* my tomatoes never bore fruit. :o(

  6. christine Says:

    I’m sorry, have I visited Hank & Willie or Smitten Kitchen?!? Great photography, my friend!

  7. Brenda Says:

    Thanks for the great reminder of how easy it can be to make a delicious pasta dish! Mmmm basil!

  8. Sheila Says:

    Mmmm. This does look so yummy. Now you just have to pick from your amazing array of recipes for the school cookbook. Nag, nag.

  9. Jess's Mom Says:

    Mmmmmm. Balsamic is something I haven’t yet tried. Maybe tonight! Thanks for making us both famous xxx A.

  10. cdp Says:

    Holy Lord, that looks delicious. You always have such wonderful FRESH food on here. I just licked my screen. The cheese alone is making my mouth water. And all those fresh tomatoes!? Bliss!

    ps, it’s getting cooler here, so I’ll be able to send you and Mike the ooey gooey brownies soon!

  11. itsallabouthallie Says:

    Yum! This looks great! I think i am going to try that tomato soup recipe soon! I keep getting tomatoes! It is great!!

  12. B. Says:


  13. JenBun Says:

    Oooh, yum! Tomatoes and basil, here I come… 😛

  14. thelandofka Says:

    This looks SO GOOD! I have been off my game lately, so I need to get it revved up. I also need to go to the farmers market near me and get some of those tomatoes!

  15. JenBun Says:

    OMG, Anna– I made this the other night, with whole-wheat penne and 4 huge Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, and the rest, and I just rubbed the bowl with cut garlic… SOOOOO incredibly good!

    Thank you for such a simple and simply delicious recipe!!!

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