Summer Spaghetti

Normally I can take or leave pasta, but for some reason, I usually make an exception for spaghetti. I wanted to make a more seasonally appropriate stand in for the usual spaghetti with marinara, and this is what I came up with.

With absolutely BEAUTIFUL tomatoes and basil all over the place at the farmers markets right now, I wanted to make a pasta that would feature them prominently, and this simple dish definitely does.  I drew inspiration from caprese salad, but left out the cheese to keep it light (and vegan).  I’m sure, though, if you wanted to put some fresh mozzarella in here, it would be really good.

Mashing up garlic with salt is a technique I learned from a friend who makes the best salads I’ve ever had.  Now it forms the base of pretty much any salad dressing I make.  Here, I just add olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper.  That gets tossed with some cooked, drained whole wheat pasta and fresh tomatoes and basil  making this a light, fresh dinner in under 20 minutes!


8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti (or whatever pasta you choose)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
black pepper
1/4 cup basil, cut into thin ribbons
3 ripe tomatoes, diced

Boil the pasta as directed.

While the pasta is cooking, make the dressing: smash the salt and garlic into a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle. Combine with oil, balsamic, and a pinch or two of black pepper and whisk to make a dressing.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse it. Put in a large bowl and toss with the tomatoes, basil, and dressing to taste.


4 Responses to “Summer Spaghetti”

  1. 1 Krystal R. July 8, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I love the wonderful flavors of summer like tomatoes and basil, and this is a great dish! Looks beautiful! 😉

  2. 2 Friday Delights July 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Look delicious and so simple!!!

  3. 3 Jan July 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I have been making a pasta like this for years, served over angel hair, and yes it is wonderful with fresh mozzarella. My kids love it!

  4. 4 Bridget July 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I made a similar dish during the summer that I love. It includes green onions, which are surprisingly complimentary. Of course I add fresh mozzarella, but once when I made it for a my dairy-allergic nephew, I used white beans for his portion instead, and he seemed perfectly happy. And that way the dish has some protein as well.

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