With pumpkins and apple cider beginning to crowd out our beloved berries, squash, and the like I am grabbing up all the juicy, bright red, odd-shaped tomatoes just as fast as we can eat them. And guess where they're going?! Into this sauce. It's the only tomato sauce I need for the rest of this summer, especially when it's bursting with so much flavor and is dead simple to make. It can be spooned over quinoa, rice, an omelet or poached egg on toast. But my favorite is to toss it with a hearty whole grain spaghetti. Whole grain spelt spaghetti, to be exact. I've made this with brown rice spaghetti too, but the nutty chew of the whole spelt noodle holds up best with the free flowing sauce and accentuates the pistachios, which turn even sweeter and more buttery in this dish.
And yes, you are seeing blueberries in the bowl. To be honest I wasn't trying to be clever nor did I have pre-contemplated plans for this odd addition. I literally had a handful of blueberries leftover, not enough for a smoothie, barely enough to top granola, so I decided to throw them into the pasta. Why not?! Well, it stuck. I've included them in all iterations since and never looked back. Their pop of mild citrusy sweetness added another dimension, paired nicely with the oregano and basil, and generally kept things interesting. But if you're turned off by them, simply leave them out.
This pasta is simple to make but it's the unique combination of flavors that makes it special and sets it apart. Enjoy it as is for lunch or a light dinner (it comes together quickly if you have leftover spaghetti), serve it as a first course for a dinner party, or have alongside some grilled shrimp or salmon. Whatever you choose, I hope you find some fantastic heirloom tomatoes, and maybe you even have leftover oregano from these fig toasts? Then you're well on your way to serving this up for a delicious late summer's meal!
Late Summer Tomato Sauce with Whole Grain Spaghetti
Notes: Whole grain spelt spaghetti is my favorite to use here because it's nutty chew pairs well with the sauce. Though I haven't tried them, other whole grain varieties with a similar flavor and texture such as kamut and whole wheat should also work well. For gluten-free options, try brown or black rice, buckwheat (soba), or black bean noodles.
- 5 1/2 oz or 156 gr whole grain spelt spaghetti (~ 3 cups, cooked)
- 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 1-2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 15-20 basil leaves, sliced
- 4-5 sprigs oregano, leaves torn and tough stems discarded
- Small handful blueberries
- Handful toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
- Bring big pot of water to boil. While water comes to a boil mix together sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in the bottom of a medium serving bowl. Add chopped tomatoes, herbs, and blueberries. Stir to coat in vinegar mixture and set aside to marinate, giving it a few stirs occasionally and tasting for salt (tomatoes need more salt than we think).
- Cook pasta 1-2 minutes shy of package directions. You want it al-dente, still with a bite to it, not mushy. Drain pasta and rinse well under cold water to keep from sticking.
- Add well-drained pasta to tomato mixture along with pistachios, and use tongs to gently toss together. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with an extra drizzle of olive oil and more herbs and freshly cracked black pepper, if desired.