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Tonight’s Dinner: Tortellini with fresh tomato sauce recipe

Fresh tomatoes, whether they’re heirloom or Roma, make a wonderful hot tomato sauce. But raw and cold, the sauce has a freshness unlike your basic spaghetti sauce.

We’re getting to the end of the heirloom tomato season. But there’s still time to get a bunch and create the most wonderful tomato sauces and salads. And I plan on doing just that because tomato sauce made from heirloom tomatoes is one of my favorite pasta sauces. While I will use the occasional jar of tomato sauce when I’m in a rush, there’s much more flavor in the homemade version, especially when I get to choose the tomatoes. And while I’m partial to hot tomato sauce, Fine Cooking suggested topping pasta with a cold tomato sauce made of freshly chopped tomatoes, basil and garlic. It was awesome! Yes, the sauce was cold, but combined with the hot pasta, it gave the whole dish a freshness impossible to find with either the jarred or the homemade versions.

Tortellini with fresh tomato sauce

Serves 4


  • 1 pound heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 3 ounces fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (10 ounce) package tortellini


  1. Cook the tortellini according to the package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture over the tortellini and serve.

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