Friday, September 19, 2014

End of Summer Pasta

by Sheila Connolly

After a relatively cool summer (we no longer know what normal is), the weather decided to turn hot in early September. Having forgotten what “hot” feels like (would you believe I was wearing fleece in Ireland in August?), of course I didn’t feel like cooking, or at least, making anything that involved using heat.

But I dutifully went to my small local farmers’ market, since I want to support the vendors there, and found a lovely clutch of oval yellow tomatoes that called out to me. And some little onions. I knew I had some tiny red peppers at home, and my pot of herbs has somehow survived my neglect, so I also had chives and oregano and parsley. And plenty of pasta.

I wanted simple and I wanted colorful, and this is what I came up with.

End of Summer Pasta

One pound fresh tomatoes (the yellow ones were too pretty to pass up, but you can use whatever you have handy)
4-5 small red sweet peppers (or mix and match: if you have red tomatoes, use yellow and green peppers), sliced into matchsticks
2-3 small onions
Assorted fresh herbs
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for sauteeing

Spaghetti or other pasta

Slice your tomatoes crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Slice the onions and the peppers to about the same thickness. Roughly chop the herbs.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

In a wide sauté pan, pour enough olive oil to cover (note: my daughter had given me some exotic gourmet olive oil, so I threw in a dash of that too), and heat over medium heat. Sautée the onions until they are limp but not brown. Add the peppers and cook for a couple of minutes, until they soften. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook over medium heat until they render some of their juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. When you’re nearly ready to serve, add the herbs and toss to distribute them (you don’t really need to cook these).

Adding ingredients one at a time

The entire cooking process should take no more than 10-15 minutes (after the chopping, of course).

Place individual servings of spaghetti in wide flat bowls, and top with a generous helping of the sauce, and serve. And bid farewell to summer.

Counting the days until October 7th!

Available for preorder now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


  1. This looks delicious! I'm all in favor of summer lingering a bit longer. Ours was extremely pleasant this year. And after those ten foot piles of snow this winter, especially welcome!

    1. I hear you, and I agree--we rarely turned on our (single room) air-conditioner at all. Wonder how we'll pay for it this winter? Maybe next year I'll get my garden planted--with indestructible plants that don't require watering.

  2. What a lovely combination! I like how you've mixed the colors.
    A sprinkling of fresh cheese would be nice. Or some dollops of ricotta?
    Here's to all the good of summer with less of the "bad".

    1. That's the beauty of a simple recipe--you can add what you have on hand, as well as all those fresh veggies. Goat cheese crumbles might be nice too.

    2. Great minds think alike. I was going to add "goat cheese", but decided to stop at ricotta. Fresh goat cheese (chevre) melts beautifully and would add a creaminess to the sauce.
      I lightly saute baby spinach and stir in chevre to make fake creamed spinach. 2-3 minutes and it's done!

  3. Sheila, lovely. I think it's fabulous how often you get local veggies! Wishing you a great October 7 launch!

    Daryl / Avery

  4. Terrific and healthy recipe, Sheila. Lookiing forward to the new book!