Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Capers and Red Onion

In the summer, I prefer to eat simply prepared food with lots of fresh ingredients from the garden. Pasta is a dish that everyone loves and this recipe shows off the great flavor of perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes. It is enhanced with lots of fresh herbs along with capers and red onion. Whether cooking for two or for a small gathering of friends, this dish will be your new summer favorite.

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Capers and Red Onion

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Capers and Red Onion

  • 1/2 lb. pasta, spaghetti is my pasta of choice
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped*
  • 1/2 c. olive oil plus extra to drizzle (the drizzle oil should be your best)
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • 1 or 2 T. capers
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh herbs (mostly basil, with some oregano and little parsley)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (or to taste)
  •  1 t. crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c. grated cheese (pecorino is my choice but parmesan is also good)

    The Very Best Ingredients

*This dish should be made with either perfectly ripe tomatoes from your garden or purchased at a farmers market or farm stand. If not available,  the recipe will have a different taste.

This recipe makes two very large servings and is easily doubled.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add spaghetti and cook to al dente. Drain the pasta but reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water to add if sauce appears dry after tossed with pasta.

In the meantime, heat oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add red onion and saute until soft. Add garlic and red pepper, then saute for one minute being careful that the garlic doesn’t brown. Add the white wine, capers, salt and pepper and saute for several minutes. Turn off the heat, add the tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper.

Add pasta and cheese to the sauce and toss until covered with sauce. Plate pasta, drizzle with a little finishing oil and sprinkle with additional cheese.

This is a simple dish where tomatoes are the star. It is a recipe where the very best ingredients should be used; totally ripe tomatoes, your best extra virgin olive oil and grated  cheese. I hope you will agree that this is your new summer favorite.

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31 thoughts on “Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Capers and Red Onion

  1. I have been wanting to make a nice pasta dish lately, such is life when you are following Lidia Bastianich on Facebook! I happen to have all of these ingredients on hand so I think I shall be making this dish tonight! Thanks for the recipe idea! Laura V.

    1. Just had dinner, here in Germany, and it was delish! Thanks for the great recipe! Only made a few small changes like using orecchiette pasta (it’s what I had on hand) and adding grilled eggplant cubes. I also added a little of the pasta cooking water to the dish to make it a little saucier. Overall this is a real winner. Thanks again. Laura V.

      1. Hi Laura, Thank you for letting me know that you enjoyed the recipe. I think orecchiette would be great for this dish as they would catch so much of the sauce. I bet the eggplant added great taste and I will try it.

  2. This looks like a wonderful summer pasta. I’ve never used heirlooms before, but this looks like a fun way to try them – a recipe in which they are the star.

  3. An amazing and beautiful dish – I make something very similar, but without capers….and I love capers! I’ll have to try it!

  4. Summer on a plate! I LOVE this kind of dish and I have everything at home in my cupboards and garden – including some fresh Pecorino Romano!! Dinner tonight!!
    (oh– I will have to add some summer squash as they are growing like wild in my garden now!)

  5. even tho its a simple pasta but im sure the flavours must be beautiful (with a punch from the capers too!)! love simple dishes like this in summer…or even winter 😀

  6. Beautiful recipe and photos, especially the one with the ingredients! I make a similar tomato based sauce (I just LOVE capers!), except I also add in finely chopped black olives – the ones which are preserved by salting, not the ones in brine, they taste different. There’s something almost “out of this world” about tomato, pasta and basil isn’t there? I could eat it for every meal!

  7. Looks like a great recipe and I love your photography. I can actually smell and taste the basil, capers and tomato. Getting really hungry, good job 🙂

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