(Not-Fried) Green Tomatoes Pasta Sauce

August in Nashville and we are all enjoying ripe, juicy colorful tomatoes from our gardens, but soon, very soon, the weather will change and the vines will have lots of end-of-the-season green tomatoes hanging on. There are many recipe for using green tomatoes. Pickled, fried, jammed and juiced, but this late summer/early fall green tomato pasta sauce is another to add to your list of what to do with those late, we-are-never-turning-red green tomatoes.

A few green tomatoes chopped and sautéed, a quick multi-herb pesto, lots of parmigiana-reggiano…everything mixed and quickly cooked together. Served over a sturdy noodle such as Bucatini with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt…in a half hour you’ll have a pasta dish to celebrate green tomatoes, not fried.

Tossed with noodles and generous grating of parmigiana-reggiano…..and a slightly chilled glass of Italian Red might be a little bit of heaven on a late summer evening. Go ahead, fry, pickle and jam all you like, but do try this recipe and let me know what you think.

It’s August, time is flying, soon it will happen, those lonely little green tomatoes waiting to be celebrated and praised like their ripe red friends on the vine. Hangers-on one and all. Be ready, be creative, eat them.

(Not-Fried) Green Tomatoes Pasta Sauce


For the Pesto- 1/4 cup each fresh basil leaves, parsley, arugula and mint + 2 garlic cloves + juice of half a lemon + olive oil + salt and pepper and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.

a drizzle of olive oil

6 medium to large green tomatoes, cored and chopped

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 lb Bucatini or Spaghetti noodles

extra grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for topping servings


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. While waiting…in a food processor pulse together the basil leaves, parsley, arugula, mint and garlic cloves, and lemon juice, leaving chunky. Drizzle in some olive oil (I like a less oily pesto, but use what you like) and pulse. Add in salt, pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano and pulse a few more times to blend. Scrape pesto out into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan set over medium high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and the chopped green tomatoes. Toss to coat the tomatoes and saute, stirring, for 8 minutes. Pour in the broth. Add salt and black pepper. Bring to a low boil, turn heat to simmer, stirring often until liquid is reduced by half. When tomatoes begin to soften, sprinkle in the 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss to coat well. Add the pesto to the hot sauce, stirring until well mixed. Cover and keep sauce warm until pasta is cooked.
  4. When water comes to a boil, add in the Bucatini and cook just until al dente. Drain well.
  5. Serve pasta in bowls topped with the sauce and more grated cheese. A good Italian red or white will bring this meal together.

This recipe is based on a Mario Batali recipe from years and years ago. I made some changes to make it even better.


Hello Spring Pesto with Asparagus & Kale tossed with Bucatini Pasta


I love the changing of seasons and the culinary markers for each, currently Spring Asparagus and leaves of tender baby Kale. Bright, new green colors shooting up from the soil inspiring new recipes to be tried & shared.

 Pesto using fresh chopped asparagus spears, tender kale leaves, lime juice, garlic, pistachios, olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano? Why not! New season, new dish.


I tossed this deeply flavorful concoction with hot Bucatini pasta, chopped grape tomatoes and shreds of Parm. Simple, fresh, Spring.


Do you ever use Bucatini? I prefer it to regular spaghetti noodles. Bucatini is a bit larger and has a teeny-tiny hole running through each strand…look closely at the photo below and you may can see the hole…for the pasta sauce to soak into giving it more flavor and sauce for every bite. I get Bucatini and most of my pastas from Lazzaroli Pasta located on 5th Avenue North here in Nashville. If you have not been there treat yourself to an outing to Tom Lazzaro’s wonderful little homemade pasta and Italian grocery store. It is small in size but mighty in deliciousness.


Hello Spring & Bon Appetit Y’all.


Hello Spring Pesto with Asparagus & Kale tossed with Bucatini Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • 1 lb. fresh tender Asparagus spears, trimmed, rinsed & patted dry & chopped
  • 1/2 cup shelled Pistachios
  • 2 handfuls of baby Kale, rinsed & patted dry
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of one Lime
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1 lb Bucatini pasta noodles
  • chopped grape or cherry tomatoes


  1. Add chopped asparagus spears and pistachios to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
  2. Add kale and garlic and pulse several times to make a finer chop but still rough.
  3. Add lime juice and 1/2 cup Parmigiano. Pulse a few times. I prefer a rough chop pesto, but you make your version how you like it.
  4. With processor running drizzle in approximately 1/2 cup olive oil. I like less oil but if you prefer a more oily pesto then go ahead and add more.
  5. Scrape pesto out into a bowl. Stir in salt and black pepper to taste.
  6. Cook Bucatini according to package directions and drain well. Save 1 cup of hot pasta water.
  7. Toss hot pasta with a generous portion of the pesto & hot pasta water. Top with chopped tomatoes and additional Parmigiano.  Store leftover pesto in a jar with a tight-fitting lid chilled for up to 2 weeks or freeze.

Note: This pesto is wonderful topping a flatbread pizza or smeared on crusty bread slices.

Teresa Blackburn    www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com    www.foodonfifth.com