Simple Summer Pasta for hot summer days! This vegan pasta dish is tossed with crushed tomatoes, herbs, and olives, with a drizzle of olive oil and some vinegar to brighten things up. It couldn’t be easier to make or more delicious to eat.
Anyone else hate turning their oven on when it’s hot outside?
We’ve been having a heat wave in Stockholm (and a well-deserved one, I might add, after the winter we had) which has been wonderful and glorious and has brought with it the bounty of summer (the strawberries are the best and biggest and juiciest they’ve ever been) but man oh man, I do not want to turn my oven on.
I naturally find myself reaching for more simple meals these days – both simple to make, because it’s too hot to be sweating away in the kitchen, and simple flavours, because the produce at this time of year deserves a chance to shine.
This Simple Summer Pasta ticks all of the boxes. It celebrates all of the best flavours of summer with fresh tomatoes and herbs, and takes no longer to make than it takes you to boil up a pot of pasta. It doesn’t require any cooking other than the pasta either; you just get busy crushing the tomatoes in your hands, tear up some herbs, and add a splash of oil and vinegar, and you’re done.
In the words of the great Ina Garten, how easy is that?!
Another thing I love about this Simple Summer Pasta is that it’s great served warm – just toss the hot pasta directly in with the tomatoes – but it’s equally good served cold or at room temperature. The recipe as written is totally vegan, but if cheese is your thing I heartily endorse tearing up a ball of good buffalo mozzarella (or burrata, if you can get your hands on it) to scatter over top.
The produce is uncooked, which means this is a one-pot meal. In-season cherry tomatoes and spinach are tossed with torn leaves of basil, salty black olives, and slivers of punchy garlic. A splash of red wine vinegar and a glug of the best olive oil you’ve got brighten the flavours and let the summer produce shine as it should.
Simple Summer Pasta is a perfect summer evening meal, preferably eaten outside. The leftovers pack well for picnicking, or for packed lunches if you like. Enjoy.
Tips for making simple summer pasta:
- This meal really doesn’t require much in the way of prepping or chopping, but you can certainly enlist help for the tomato squishing job. It’s a perfect task for little hands, too.
- Want to add more protein to your pasta? Try swapping in legume pasta for half or all of the pasta here.
- Eat gluten free? Use rice, quinoa, or legume pasta instead of regular.
- Want to bump up the vegetable content? Add in a few big handfuls of in-season greens. They’ll wilt down to next to nothing when you add in the hot pasta.
- Want to fancy it up? A ball of buffalo mozzarella or burrata torn over the top will do the trick.
Hey Nutrition Lady, are tomatoes good for you?
Funny story, I have a friend who up until recently thought that tomatoes weren’t all that nutritious because they’re not green. Folks, tomatoes are juicy little bombs of nutrition. Tomatoes are known for their antioxidant content, notably lycopene – which can help reduce your risk of prostate cancer, fellas!
Other antioxidants include vitamin C, and beta carotene. As far as phytonutrients go, tomatoes are at the top of the charts. They contain flavonoids, carotenoids, and glycosides to name just a few. Eating tomatoes has also been shown to be beneficial for the profile of fats in our bloodstream.
Specifically, tomato intake has been linked to reduced total cholesterol, reduced LDL cholesterol, and reduced triglyceride levels. This makes our hearts happy! Tomatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin K, copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E, and phosphorus.
Other pasta dishes you might enjoy:
Simple Summer Pasta
Simple Summer Pasta for hot summer days! This pasta is tossed with crushed tomatoes, herbs, and olives, with a drizzle of olive oil and some vinegar to brighten things up. It couldn't be easier to make or more delicious to eat.
- 14 oz rotini pasta regular or whole wheat
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives halved
- 1 clove garlic thinly sliced or crushed
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves about 1/2 cup torn
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano de-stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Put a large pot of water on high heat. When it has come to a rolling boil, salt generously and place the pasta in to cook until al dente - about 10-15 minutes depending on your pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, prep everything else.
Add halved cherry tomatoes to a large bowl, then scrunch them with your hands to break down a bit.
- Now add torn basil, oregano, crushed garlic, and red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
- When the pasta has finished cooking, drain, and immediately add the hot pasta to the waiting vegetables.
- Toss well to combine, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Nutrition values are an estimate only.
Originally published August 2014