Summer is the season when ripe, fresh tomatoes are in bloom. In the middle of winter when all you can get are those mealy cellophane wrapped imitations, one despairs. But now they are in their glory. You can make a great, hearty tomato based sauce over that pasta. And I’ve discovered you don’t need to spend hours over the stove cooking a marinara sauce. You can use fresh tomatoes as a summer treat. The simplest of all concoctions: tomatoes, garlic, olives and whatever else you want to add; and you have the perfect pasta meal for summer. Add a crusty loaf of bread, and a light red wine, or white if you want. This is not a meal where you stand on formality. A simple, joyous dish for this season.

In the dish given, I use linguine. Yet you can use whatever form of pasta you like, be it tubular like a penne or rigatoni,  circular like a radiatore, or strands like spaghetti or fettuccine. Whatever you have in the cupboard will do.


1 pound fresh or dried linguine
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 8.5-ounce can artichoke hearts, cut into fourths
6 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
1 6-ounce can pitted black olives, drained and sliced in half
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated Romano or Pecorino cheese

1. Cook linguine  in a pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, and place in a large serving bowl.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil and vinegar with the artichoke hearts.
3. Add tomatoes, olives, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.  Stir to mix, and add to the pasta. Combine thoroughly.
4. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve.
    Yield: 4 servings.