Pasta with Fresh Tomato, Olive and Avocado Sauce

This has been one of my favorite summer pasta dishes for as long as I've been growing tomatoes.

It's wonderful using fresh tomatoes and herbs from your local markets.

It approaches sublime when you use perfectly ripe, just picked tomatoes, still warm from the sun and herbs that were happily growing in your garden moments earlier.

If it's not the right season and you have to buy the lot at the supermarket…. Don't bother.  You'll miss the point.

It needs to be made ahead, 4 – 6 hours is needed for the sauce to blend flavors. 

But…..

The flavors blend a little too thoroughly by the next day, so I don't plan leftovers.

Fresh Tomato, Green Olive and Avocado Pasta

Preparation and cooking time:  20 minutes plus pasta, 6 hours marinating     

 Ingredients:

  • 3 medium – large garden-ripened tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pimento stuffed
  • 3 tbs good olive oil, plus 1 tbs if pasta cooked ahead
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs fresh chopped oregano
  • 2 tbs fresh snipped chives
  • 1 tbs fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup bite-size pasta

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

 Instructions:

  • Peel tomatoes and roughly chop. Put into a large bowl. 
  • Cut olives in thirds and add to tomatoes. 
  • Mince garlic and add. 
  • Chop/snip herbs and add. 
  • Pour olive oil over all, stir to combine. 
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours, 4 – 6 is better. 
  • When ready to serve:
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, rinse lightly and add to sauce.
  • Remove avocado from shell, cube and add to pasta.
  • Stir gently
  • Note: If you cook the pasta ahead, drain and toss with 1 tbs olive oil.  Combine with the sauce when ready to serve. 

Note:  The tomatoes, etc. need to sit without the pasta for the sauce to develop and the flavors to meld. 

To Peel Tomatoes:  Bring a medium pan 3/4's full of water to a boil on high heat.  Drop tomatoes in for 30 seconds – start timing immediately.  Remove tomatoes and drop into a bowl of cold water.  If you are doing a lot of tomatoes you will have to add ice or change water to keep it cold.  Now peel them with a knife or your fingers – peel will come off very easily. (You can peel peaches the same way) 

We're having our second heat wave of the summer.

I'm really not complaining.  The first one was a few days in the mid – upper 30'sC (upper 90's F) and this one looks to be the same.  Not really long enough to get our house to the uncomfortable stage.  These thick stone walls take awhile to heat up.  Of course, they take awhile to cool down as well.

I've only lived in one house (for one year) that had air-conditioning.  It was a house we rented while we organized ourselves for the big move across the pond. 

It was a smart house.  On the day we moved in I programmed the daily temperatures (cool at night, warm to get up, cool during the day, etc. and never touched anything again.  It was magic: the heat came on when it was below programmed temperature and the air-conditioning came on when it was above.

A full year with no adjustments, no fiddling, no being too cold or too hot.

Of course throwing open all the windows on a spring day created havoc, but there you have it.

It's a little different here…..

You all know about the hauling, stacking and splitting of firewood, as well as the constant feeding the fire, cleaning and hauling the ashes and fetching more wood that is our winter.

Our summer is less heavy lifting but still requires attention.

On cool days, the windows and doors stay closed until the sun is shining directly on them. Then they get opened up to let the warm, sunshine in to warm the house.  As the sun moves, doors and windows on one side of the house close and open on the other side.

On hot days, it's just the opposite.  

First thing in the morning all the doors and windows are thrown wide open.  As the sun moves over the house the shutters are pulled close and the windows shut to keep in the cool.  

When it cools off in the evening everything is opened up again to let in any errant breezes.

At bedtime it's all closed up again – except for the few windows that have screens.  

Ah… the screens.  

Our windows open in – so that we can reach out to grab the shutters to close.  So permanent screens are impossible.  Mon mari has made screen inserts for the windows – we open the window and fit the screen in.  To close the window the screen comes out. It's not possible to do it on the doors.

The puppies are quite happy to lay in the darkened, cool hall during the heat of the day.

Well, except for Bonnie.

From time to time I look around and she's gone.  I'll find her laying in the sun.

It was 36C (97F) today and she's out in the sun.

Silly puppy.

5 thoughts on “Pasta with Fresh Tomato, Olive and Avocado Sauce”

  1. I love the colors in that dish, Katie.
    I also love the rituals of an old house without AC: Opening the doors and windows to let in the cool or keeping them shut against the cold. On hot mornings, I open everything until the house cools, then close it all and turn on the fans. By 4:30 when we come home, the house is comfortable.
    And of course there is the French ritual of opening and closing the shutters.

  2. Sounds wonderful. When we lived in St. Louis our house did not have air conditioning. I always felt so much more in tune with nature and the flow of the days.

  3. We don’t have Air Con much to the horror of many but I don’t mind the heat and I keep the outside blinds down all summer but I too have the am and pm ritual of shutting up the house and then re opening when it cools down. I also have foolish dogs that lie outdoors in the heat !!

  4. Beautiful! I have never thought of adding avocado to my pasta, but I love the idea, and I can only imagine the creaminess it adds. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Mimi, but AC would be nice at times…. We’re so bad – don’t close the shutters every night LOL
    Pam, in tune, yes…. Hot, yes…. Thankfully we have fans and that seems to handle it.
    manningroad, I don’t like the house closed up – I even tend to open things up in winter. Mornings are best.
    Monat, avocado is great in pasta….

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