Fresh Tomato Pasta With Basil

Fresh Tomato Pasta

Jon Edwards / Photolibrary / Getty Images

  • Total: 23 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
443 Calories
15g Fat
64g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4-6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 443
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 195mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Protein 14g
Calcium 194mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The temperature contrast in this simple summery pasta recipe is refreshing—warm, freshly cooked pasta and cool, raw tomatoes. There are only a few ingredients, so for the best flavor, make sure they’re the highest quality possible.

The dish is best made in the summertime with the freshest tomatoes and basil you can find. (Note: Off-season tomatoes tend to have a mealy texture and a lack of flavor.) If you have a garden, this is a great use of your carefully grown produce. If you don't have a green thumb, get your tomatoes and basil at a farmers market. The tomatoes should be firm and heavy, with no soft spots and thin skin. You can tell if the skin is thin by running your fingers over the surface—it should feel delicate and smooth.

If you can find some freshly made pasta instead of using dry, all the better. The olive oil should be the really good stuff, and the lemon juice must be fresh. Freshly grated Parmesan is also preferred because the flavor is superior and it will melt together with the other ingredients better than the packaged version.

Serve the dish with hot and crisp toasted garlic bread and a green salad tossed with some sliced mushrooms or diced ripe avocados.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 tomatoes (ripe, chopped)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil (leaves only, chopped)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
  • 1 pound spaghetti (or linguine or fettuccine pasta)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh basil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix gently and set aside to marinate.

  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a fast boil and add spaghetti; cook until al dente according to package directions, about 7 to 8 minutes.

  4. Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato mixture.

  5. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Variations

  • Replace all or part of the pasta with zucchini noodles for a gluten-free dish packed with veggies.
  • Gluten-free or whole wheat pasta works well for this recipe.
  • Add one minced garlic clove or use garlic-infused olive oil for an extra punch of flavor.

Tips

  • Most recipes for this type of pasta don't add cheese, but just a little bit really brings the flavors together. Omit it if you're vegan or lactose intolerant.
  • Don't omit the lemon juice. You can't really taste it, but the fresh juice brightens up all the flavors.
  • Use the leftovers (if any) to make tomato pasta frittata.