Eat All You Can and Preserve the Rest

The incredible abundance of summer produce brings with it just a wee bit of anxiety. We know all this ripe, juicy flavor is only around for a limited time, so how do we make the most of it? Certainly with recipes like this simplest of pastas--a true celebration of pure, powerful tomato flavor, accented with not much more than basil, garlic, and fruity olive oil. But what to do with what's left--the pounds of tomatoes getting riper by the moment, with more than we can eat getting red on the vine by the day? In November, all this will be a distant memory, and we'll wonder why we didn't appreciate it more while we could. Not to fret--we have the answer! Eat all you can, and relax: preserving the best of the season is easier than you might imagine.

We've been known to throw tomatoes whole in a zip top bag straight into the freezer. When you're ready to make a sauce or a soup in the dark days of winter, just thaw slightly and the peels come right off. Chop them, and they're recipe ready. If you're into canning or want to make sauce for freezing, here's a quick video with easy peeling steps. And if you really want to 'put up' summer for enjoying later, be sure to check out our Preserving Summer Fruits and Vegetables Class!

In the meantime, here's dinner:


  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine, cooked al dente
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large red tomato, chopped
  • 1 small bunch basil, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

While pasta is cooking, prepare sauce. Place tomatoes, basil, and sliced shallot in a large bowl and set aside. Place olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until garlic is fragrant and oil is just simmering. When pasta is done, drain and place in bowl with tomato mixture. Pour oil over pasta, add about half of grated cheese, and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide into 4-6 bowls and top with additional grated cheese.