September 2016 Recipe of the Month

Summer Pasta with Tomato Water, Tomatoes and Garlic

It’s amazing how something so simple can be so mouthwatering and satisfying when you use fresh ingredients and let them shine.Tomatoes do double duty here–the juices from the tomato create the sauce and then more ripe tomatoes are folded in. Easy and elegant.

spaghetti tomato

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 6 Tomato , large dice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 12 ounces Spaghetti , choose gluten free, if desired
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Basil , optional, chiffonade
  • 3 tablespoons Butter , cut into 3 chunks
  • Salt and Pepper , to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water then strain the pasta.
  2. While your water comes to a boil, season the tomatoes with the salt and toss them well in a mixing bowl. Cut the basil into ribbons or roughly chop it. Take a pinch of this basil, chop it finely, and add it to the tomatoes to season the “tomato water” that the salt will extract from the tomatoes. Allow moisture to be extracted for about 5 minutes.
  3. Smash the garlic with the flat side of a knife, and chop it. Place it into a sauté pan. Pour the tomatoes into a strainer or colander over the garlic so that the tomato water will stream into the pan below. Set the strainer with the tomatoes back into the bowl so they don’t drip on the counter, and bring the sauce to a simmer.
  4. Add the butter while swirling or stirring the sauce. Keep the sauce moving until all the butter is melted. Add the tomatoes, any more tomato water that has accumulated, and the cooked pasta and toss to coat the pasta evenly. If you’d like a little more sauce, add some of the pasta water until you achieve your desired consistency. Divide the pasta among four bowls and top with the remaining basil.

Recipe adapted from Michael Ruhlman.

Leave A Comment