Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall calls this recipe the more prosaic “Pasta with raw tomato”, but I think my title sums up this wonderful vegetarian dish more accurately. It is the perfect summer supper, especially when you can find ripe and tasty tomatoes. I was so pleased when we had a few days of sunshine so I could make this again. The recipe comes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s marvellous River Cottage Veg Every Day!. It is my favourite cookery book, and I urge you to buy it.


  • 750g ripe tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • a handful of shredded basil leaves
  • a splash of extra virgin olive oil
  • 350g pasta
  • salt and pepper

You can see from the picture that I used spaghetti this time, but only because it is what I had in the cupboard. Normally I would follow Hugh’s suggestion and use penne, conchigliette or oricchiette. He also says to use chilli, which I find too dominant here, and I prefer it without. Hugh tells you to rinse your capers – I don’t, but I wonder if Hugh uses salted capers, where I use pickled capers. Finally, as usual, while I skin my tomatoes, I don’t de-seed.

Prick your tomatoes with a fork and then place in a jug of boiling water. Leave for a minute or so, fish out and peel the skin off. Chop to bite-size, and put in a bowl with the capers, garlic, olive oil and basil.

Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions.

Mix it all together.

Enjoy. No need for parmesan. Sometimes I add some finely chopped fennel.