August 2018 | The Honest Spoon


I read a horrible sentence today- "Fall starts in 34 days"........WHAAAAT? How did that happen?? I feel like I blinked and summer is nearly over!! Don't get me wrong, I love the Fall. However,  my overall obsession with summer is pretty next level. In the PNW we enjoy the seemingly never ending summer sun (it gets dark LATE), lazy river floats, days at the coast, lake life, bike rides, and endless farm stands and farmers markets. In fact, it was over the weekend, (when I picked up some heirloom cherry tomatoes), when I realized I've done you wrong.  Sometimes, i forget to share the extra simple recipes. In my opinion, the simplest recipes are the BEST. This pasta comes together in about 30 minutes. After you’ve done it a couple times you can get it down to 20 minutes.

The key here is to prep all of your ingredients first. The tomatoes need to be halved- it enables the juices to be released and add to the overall favor. The tomatoes take the longest to cook, but it goes quick. Then dice your onion & garlic and set it aside. Halve your olives and get your pine nuts out.  If you don't have pine nits, toasted chopped or slivered almonds can also go well here- or you can skip the nuts all together. Personally, I like the bit if bite and texture the nuts give the overall dish. 


Once your ingredients are prepped, start your pasta water. At the same time, you will start the tomatoes. This  pasta is pretty much a variation of pasta "aglio e olio" (classic garlic and oil pasta. So, oil is the base for the sauce- and it's DELICIOUS. So, don't cut  back on the oil. You'll need it! You will start by sauteing the onions in the oil until the go clear- but do not brown. If you like a little heat, add a small pinch of chili flakes to the oil & onion mixture. Then add the halved tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, basil- stir, cover, and simmer for 10 -12 minutes on low. At some point, your pasta water should have started to boil. Put your pasta in. 

Once 10-12 minutes has passed on your tomatoes, take the lid off and add your olives and pine nuts. You are pretty much done here. Keep the lid off and simmer very low for another 5 minutes, but no more. You don't want all the liquid to evaporate too much. If it starts to evaporate too much, put your lid back on. Strain your pasta, add it to the pan of sauce, mix and serve immediately. You're done! It's going to be SO GOOD!  Enjoy the rest of your summer!!!

If you want to hear me rave about a gluten free pasta, or if you’re looking for another vegan option- check out my Rustic Cauliflower Pasta  


| Serves 6|


  • 1 pound cooked Barilla Thin Spaghetti, or Rigatoni (or Gluten Free Barilla Pasta)

  • 12 oz or 3 C whole cherry or grape tomatoes- rinsed and halved

  • 1 small yellow onion, minced

  • pinch of chili flakes (optional)

  • 1/2 head garlic, peeled and minced

  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 Tbs Pine Nuts

  • 1/4 C Kalamata Olives, drained and halved

  • 6-8 Fresh Basil Leaves


METHOD, sauce:

1. Saute Onion, olive oil , and chili flakes in a large nonstick skillet until starting to turn clear. Do not brown onion.

2. Add tomatoes, garlic, basil and salt & pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

3. Add olives and pine nuts. Stir and simmer, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes.

4. Add 1 lb cooked pasta to saute pan with tomatoes. Stir and serve immediately.