Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

I’ll let you in on my dirty little secret: my normal, conservative, ‘waste not; want not’ self takes a hike this time of year.

When I have more zucchini (courgette – both green and yellow), tomatoes and basil than I know what to do with a lot of it ends up on the compost pile.

My freezer is full (see below for ideas) and we’re eating as fast as we can.

Still, I’m doing things I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing even 2 months ago:

  • Taking the best 2 slices out of the middle of a perfectly ripe tomato and tossing the rest. Then doing it again and again until I have as many as I want.
  • Thinly slicing zucchini until I reach the seeds and throwing the center in the compost.
  • Cutting perfectly matched rounds of zucchini even though I have to go through 5 zucchini to get 10 matched slices.
  • Cutting the basil with my big clippers (rather than my garden shears), pulling off only the perfect leaves with the rest destined for the compost.

In my defense, I’m enjoying every wicked bite, knowing full well that this bounty will be over soon.


This is one of my favorite pasta dishes when I have an abundance of tomatoes.

It’s a four ingredient dish (counting the pasta)…. No cooking required (except for the pasta).

It’s still summertime and the cookin’ is easy.

This isn’t a recipe as much as a technique.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Preparation and cooking time:  25 minutes  


  • 4oz (120gr) spaghetti

  • 2 – 4 fresh, ripe garden tomatoes 
  • large handful fresh basil
  • 1 – 2 tbs good olive oil

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. 
  • Drain and rinse briefly with cold water.  Shake well to get rid of as much water as possible. 

  • Cut the tomatoes in half. 
  • Place a box or flat grater in a shallow bowl. 
  • Cup half of a tomato in your hand and rub it on the big holes of the grater until all that is left in your hand is the skin (of the tomato).  You’ll have to press a bit, but not too hard. 
  • Repeat with as many halves as you think you want/need.  You end up with fresh tomato sauce with no skin… and no cooking. 
  • Depending on size of tomatoes you will want to do 2 or 3. 
  • Toss with cooked, cooled pasta, basil, drizzle with olive oil and serve.  

I’ve been doing other things more simply this year as well.

I’m no longer cooking the tomatoes before freezing them.  I’m just peeling them, chopping and putting into freezer bags.

For the tomato soup, I’m cooking chopped tomatoes with onion, carrot and half of a bell pepper (color depends on color of tomatoes).  After a brief stint in the blender it goes into freezer bags.

Cherry tomatoes I just freeze whole.  The skins slip off when they thaw.

Herbs, courgette, beans, tomatoes…. all in the freezer.

But I’m done now…. No more room.

I don’t think I could get another sage leaf in either freezer.

Sigh (self-satisfied sigh)

10 thoughts on “Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce”

  1. I used to cook a tomato sauce and freeze it. No more. I cook the tomatoes for a few minutes — OK, about 20 minutes as we live at altitude — and run them through a food mill. Then I add fresh basil and thyme, minced as small as I can get it so as not to have “brown bits” in the sauce, and freeze all that. Then, in the winter, I’ll thaw it and make of it what I will. No salt, no pepper, no oregano, no tomato paste. It’s like a breath of summer from the freezer in the winter.

  2. Your abundance might help the poor. If you have a soup kitchen or a food bank in your area, they would probably be grateful for whatever you and your mari can’t eat by yourselves. Just an idea. Maybe France doesn’t have food banks or soup kitchens – but you could ask the priest in your town – they would surely know.

  3. It is funny to think you are busy harvesting and I am just starting to re plant for the summer. I put in leeks and purple carrots at the weekend plus coriander and a big basil.

  4. Katie – I make a very similar pasta sauce – it is an Italian dish called Checca sauce – so fresh and yummy! So nice to have a freezer full of summer goodness!

  5. Anyone who employs the phrase,”I’m enjoying every wicked bite” can do no wrong in my book. Waste away!!

  6. Greg, yes…. It’s wonderful ;-))
    Christine, it’s dwindling fast.
    foodwandering, it really is the best way to eat it
    Dan, I cooked the sauce but mainly just to reduce it – less space. The chopped I just freeze.
    Zoomie, It’s a good ides, but I’ve never seen any sign of either in this area…. or homeless people or people begging for that matter. I think the farmers and families take care of their own… But I’ll ask at the mairie next time I’m there.
    manningroad, while I am looking forward to stopping for awhile, I know in another few months I’ll be seriously envying you LOL
    Ina, yes, I love having me freezer full – I’m ready (not really)
    Lana, I do that with the cherry tomatoes, but chop the big ones to save room.
    Tv Food, thanks…. I consider the compost pile recycling….

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