Monday, September 12, 2011

Meatless Monday - Quick Tomato Sauce and Pappardelle

Recently I put up a few pints of Marinara sauce, and in the past I’ve made rich dark “gravy” thick with meat that sat burbling  for hours on a cold winter day.  I love the rich dark silky sauce and I will never tire of it.  

However, this is the time of being flush with tomatoes. With more than I can eat on salads,  have time to can, or find any victims to take them off my hands.

As opposed to the patient and sophisticated deep bass notes of a long simmered sauce, this sauce is brassy, loud and fresh as nineteen-year-old sailor on his first shore leave after three months at sea. 

Add a handful of pungent basil fresh from the garden, a sprig of oregano and a couple cloves of garlic roughly chopped and you have the makings of a quickly prepared, brightly flavored weeknight meal.
No careful measuring here, this is cooking by the seat of your pants, Pinot Noir in a coffee cup, roll up your sleeves, put Sinatra on the music player. Add a salad and enjoy! 


1lb ripe tomatoes cored and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed then chopped
1 ripe jalapeno minced (optional)
Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
1 handful fresh basil leaves – about a dozen - shredded or chiffonade
1 sprig fresh oregano
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Big pinch salt
¼ cup gated parmesan divided
½ cup + of cooking water
Salt and pepper to taste
½ lb dried long pasta – I prefer Tagliatelle or Pappardelle


Prepare  pasta according to directions
While water comes to a boil and pasta cooks…

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and heat until shimmering

Add the chopped tomatoes, (jalapeno and red pepper) and toss to coat with oil,  add big pinch of salt

Cook, stirring often until tomatoes soften – about 3-5 minutes

Add garlic, basil and oregano, stir and turn heat down to medium

Continue cooking and stirring often until sauce starts to thicken, reduce heat to medium low

When pasta is just about cooked remove from cooking water and add to tomato mixture. Add ½ + cup of cooking water (add more or less according to how much liquid you want)  and combine, tossng until pasta is done.

Test for seasoning, adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Put sauced pasta in a bowl, top with parmesan, enjoy!

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!

The Gastronomic Gardener
Garden blog
Cooking blog
Twitter - @gastrogardener
email: thegastronomicgardener at gmail dot com


  1. Now you're talking! Like you, I love a good Bolognese and I like seeing a big pot of it simmering away on my stove. Yet, this time of year, nothing beats a "fresh" tomato sauce. That garden-fresh taste just can't be beat, especially when a good recipe, like yours here, is followed. Great post!

  2. Thanks John, funny how just a few ingredients can be so liberating.


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