Pasta Rustica

Or ... How to make TWO tomatoes into a delicious dinner!

I started my tomato plants from seed this year so they were slower to mature and produce than the seedling plants I usually buy.

While wandering through the garden Sunday morning I spotted these two perfectly ripe beauties.
They begged to be made into something fresh and delicious.
Pastic Rustica immediately came to mind.

Nothing beats the taste of homegrown, or Farmer's Market tomatoes, in my opinion and this dish is the perfect way to show off their juicy, flavorful sweetness.

These are ingredients you'll need for this simple and delicious country-style dish.

Fresh tomatoes, pasta of your choice (I prefer the imported Italian variety), but any will do
parsley, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, a little olive oil, garlic, salt & freshly ground pepper.
A big pot of boiling water to cook the pasta.

Set a big pot of water for the pasta on the stovetop over high heat and allow to come to a boil.
Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain, retaining about a 1/2 cup of cooking water for the sauce. (You won't need the full 1/2 cup, but better to have a little more than needed.)
While you are waiting for the pasta to cook prepare the "sauce" which will be tossed with the cooked, hot, drained pasta.
Rinse the tomatoes, you may peel them if you like by cutting a small, shallow "x" in the skin at the blossom end (opposite end from the stem) and plunging them into a pot of boiling water for a few seconds. Remove from the water; if your tomatoes are ripe the skin should slip right off. Then proceed with the recipe. However, for this particular recipe I don't bother with this step and just leave the skin on, as it is a rustic, country-style dish and the bits of tomato skin seem at home here.

Next cut the tomatoes in half, cross-wise. Gently squeeze them over a bowl or the sink and dislodge as many seeds as you can with your fingers. (Discard the seeds.)

Chop the tomatoes into medium-small dice, then place them in a bowl and set aside.

Use as much or as little garlic as you like, but this dish does need some fresh garlic to add flavor.

I usually use one or two cloves. Mince them finely and set aside.
Mince a handful of parsley and set aside. Be very generous with the fresh parsley, this dish needs the color, texture and flavor it provides.
Place the hot cooked pasta in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and a little of the pasta cooking water, add the rest of the "sauce" ingredients, except the cheese and the lemon. Gently toss together, distributing the ingredients and taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or pasta cooking water. When you are satisfied with the taste cut the lemon in half and give the mix a good squeeze of lemon. If you like a more pungent lemon scent and flavor toss in some freshly grated rind into the bowl and give it a good toss. Place in serving bowl, or serve it up on warmed plates or shallow bowls. I always sprinkle a little more minced parsley on top, along with a bit of Parmesan over it, and pass a bowl of freshly Parmesan at the table.

This is so good, simple and clean tasting ~ sometimes I crave it.
I used Bucatini pasta this time, it's a thick spaghetti with a hole running through the center of each stand. But you can use virtually any pasta shape with this method.
You can easily change the flavors around a bit by adding one or two of a number of things; a few examples ~toasted pine nuts, olive halves, capers, julienned baby spinach leaves, sliced pepperoncini peppers, sliced green onions, diced bell peppers, or cooked shrimp or chicken, etc.
If you try this one, enjoy! I hope you'll like it as much as I do.


  1. fantastic! screams fresh and easy~ i love your picture stories, my kinda cooking, visual and gorgoeus! thank you for sharing so much with us in blogsville~

  2. Good Morning~

    We have the same plates:) And the meal is definitely a meal we love too..So easy healthy and fresh.
    I crave meals like that too..
    Have a great day.

  3. Guess what's for dinner at my house tonight :-)
    At least that's the plan!!

    (and I may make a lemon version of that orange cream dream for dessert!!)

    Thanks for the inspiration... have a delicious day!


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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