Pasta with Olive Oil Marinated Tomatoes



Summer is drawing to a close here in St. Louis. Yesterday and last night we were downright chilly, which means garden tomato season is coming to an end. I welcome the cooler weather, but I will miss garden tomatoes. We still have a few weeks until our first frost date, and our tomato plants are going strong, so we don’t have to give them up yet.

Pasta with Olive Oil Marinated Tomatoes highlights the sweetness of the summer tomatoes, contrasting them with slightly bitter olive oil and the nuttiness of Parmesan cheese. We make it year-round, using hothouse cherry tomatoes in the winter, but summer tomatoes make it the dish it was meant to be.

Despite the name, this dish is just about as easy as it gets. It is our emergency dinner dish when we forgot to plan anything, or we really don’t feel like cooking and don’t have the energy or the inclination to go out. We eat it as a main dish, but it would also be a great side dish to go with fish or chicken. You can add dollops of pesto, small cubes of mozzarella cheese or even diced, cooked chicken or shrimp to make it your own.

One word of advice – since the ingredient list is so short and each component really stands out, this is the place to use the best Parmesan cheese you can. We buy big wedges of Parmigiano-Reggiano at Sam’s, but you can also get tubs of shredded Parmesan or small wedges at the grocery store. Use what you can find, but at least skip the powder in the green can.

Pasta with Olive Oil Marinated Tomatoes
From The Cook’s Life
Serves 4-6

Use any pasta shape you like, from bowties to rotini to spaghetti. We like the nuttiness of whole wheat pasta, but regular pasta is good too.

2 medium tomatoes or two handfuls of cherry or grape tomatoes (½ pound approximately)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Black pepper
¾ pound dry pasta
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Start the water heating for the pasta. While the water comes to a boil, chop the tomatoes, or cut the cherry tomatoes in halves or quarters, depending on size. Place the tomatoes in a serving bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Serve hot pasta, topped with the tomato mixture. Add Parmesan cheese at the table. This reheats well, though it will be a slightly different dish, since the tomatoes will cook slightly when you heat it.

Download the recipe here.

3 thoughts on “Pasta with Olive Oil Marinated Tomatoes

  1. Hi Sarah,

    Hey do you freeze any of your big chunk of Parmesean from Sam’s? Do you think you could? We finally finished a chunk we got from someplace – maybe a Kroger or IGA – as long as it took us to use it up. Just wondering if freezing some of it would keep it fresher. (Or more fresh? My live-in writer is not available to correct my grammar.)

    • Cherie,

      We don’t usually freeze any of our chunk, as we use it up embarrassingly fast. It usually lasts about a month, and stays pretty fresh. The last bit is usually a little harder than it was when we opened it, but it still tastes the same.

      That said, I think you could absolutely freeze it. I would grate it first, and then use it directly from the freezer. It will thaw pretty quickly. I bought a big wedge of Asiago at Sam’s and froze that, grated, when I realized how long it was taking us to use it. It worked beautifully, and I imagine the Parmesan would be the same.

  2. Mmm, I love this dish–especially if I let the tomatoes marinate with a bit of garlic for a while, then toss in some fresh mozzarella to get warm and stretchy with the pasta. I better squeeze that in again before the tomatoes are gone!

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