Summer Spaghetti 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Top Tomato 2011 Aug 17, 2011

Washington resident Jennifer Hing says this was often the staff meal during the summer at a tiny Italian restaurant where she waited tables in her college days. Because boiling water is the only cooking required, it kept the small kitchen from getting too hot before dinner service.

Thick bucatini noodles are great for soaking up the juice from this no-cook sauce. When you make this without time constraints, know that the sauce can be made up to several hours in advance.

Servings: 4
  • 2 large or 3 medium red, ripe summer tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium red or sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup pitted, mixed Kalamata and green olives
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/4 cup good-quality olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons white sugar (optional to taste, depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces fresh or 8 ounces dried bucatini or spaghetti


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, core the tomatoes, then cut them into large dice; the yield is about 3 cups. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Cut the onion into small dice. Coarsely chop the olives; transfer them to the bowl, along with the capers. Whisk together the oil and vinegar in measuring cup until emulsified, then add to the bowl. Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Let the mixture sit while the pasta cooks.

Salt the water, then add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl; toss to incorporate thoroughly. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving at the table, where you'll drizzle oil on each portion as you serve.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Top Tomato 2011 Finalist Jennifer Hing of Washington.

Tested by Zofia Smardz and Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at