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LivingFood and DrinkEnd-of-Summer Pasta

End-of-Summer Pasta

by Susan Hanna

This recipe, adapted from a variety of fresh tomato-sauce pasta recipes, is a delicious way to use late summer tomatoes, basil, onion and arugula. Marinate chunks of tomato in salt, pepper and olive oil. Sliver red onion and place in an ice-water bath with a little salt to mellow their flavour. Tear handfuls of basil and arugula into bite-sized pieces and use your vegetable peeler to shave off strips of hard cheese, such as Parmesan. When you are ready to eat, cook the pasta and toss with the tomatoes and other ingredients and top with more cheese, pepper and hot pepper flakes. I had some burrata cheese on hand so I added some of that on top as well.

Serves 4.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Genuine Parmesan cheese (look for the name stamped on the rind) is additive-free. Check the hot pepper flakes to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


  • 3 or 4 large ripe tomatoes, heirloom if you can get them, cut into chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup (82 ml) olive oil
  • 12 oz (340 g) dried spaghetti
  • ¼ red onion, cut into slivers
  • 1 cup (250 ml) basil
  • 2 cups (500 ml) arugula
  • ½ cup (125 ml) strips of hard cheese, such as Parmesan, shaved off with a vegetable peeler, plus more for serving
  • Hot red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Add the tomatoes to a glass or ceramic bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes. Add olive oil and let marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  2. Cook the spaghetti in salted water. While the spaghetti cooks, put the red onion in a small bowl with ice water and a pinch of salt. Tear basil and arugula into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Drain the pasta and return to pot. Add about 1/3 of the tomatoes, toss gently and then add the rest of the tomatoes, the drained red onion, the basil, arugula and cheese. Toss gently and serve topped with more cheese, black pepper and red pepper flakes.






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