Kristine Kidd

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Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta Cheese

During the summer, when I get home from my weekly visit to the farmers’ market, it always seems like I have purchased too many heirloom tomatoes. But every week we devour them all.

  • A few of my favorite preparations:
    a quick salad of large tomato wedges, sprinkled with salt and pepper, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, and finished with a shower of fresh marjoram or basil
  • to accompany grilled fish or chicken, sweet cherry tomatoes halved and sautéed with red onion and thyme
  • for an intense cold soup, the ripest specimens pureed with extra-virgin olive oil, shallots, and breadcrumbs

The recipe I make the most often is spaghetti with a rustic sauce of uncooked summer tomatoes and handfuls of fresh herbs. Bursting with fresh tastes, this easy dish is ideal for a hot night or impromptu lunch. Right now, tomatoes are succulent, and herbs are at their best. Before cooler weather is here to stay, and the heirloom tomatoes are gone, we will feast on this favorite several more times.

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta Cheese

Kristine Kidd
Think of this recipe as a basic template that can be adjusted to fit your taste or the ingredients on hand. Last night, I flavored the tomatoes with a mixture of basil, marjoram, and mint, but I have prepared the dish with all basil, or replaced the mint and marjoram with thyme or tarragon. When I don’t have shallots, I find red onion or scallions are as good. Sometimes I trade fresh goat cheese for the feta, and I have left out the olives. Be certain to serve this as soon as it is assembled, to best enjoy the contrast of hot pasta and room temperature sauce.
Makes 2 servings, plus leftovers
Servings 2


  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes, 1½ to 1¾ pounds, halved, seeded, finely chopped
  • cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ to 1/3 cup minced fresh herbs, such as a mix of basil, marjoram, and mint
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 to 8 ounces gluten-free spaghetti
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, about 2½ ounces


  • Combine the chopped tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, herbs, olives, shallot, oil, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti, stir well, and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large shallow bowl. Add the tomato sauce and mix. Mix in the cheese. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve right away.


The entire dish can be served as a salad the next day.
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