Vacation Spaghetti

Vacation Spaghetti
Vacation Spaghetti
This image courtesy of Ian Garlick

Editor's Note: Vacation Spaghetti is one of those easy pasta recipes that's perfect for the summertime. Ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic combine with olive oil to create a light yet flavorful pasta sauce that doesn't require long hours of boiling on the stove. This fun take on the traditional spaghetti recipe is a hit with the kids, too - they won't even notice the lightened-up pasta sauce! While the sauce does need some time to set, there is very little needed in terms of preparation and actual cooking, which makes this a great easy dinner recipe.

This is the very familiar, traditional, simple raw tomato sauce for the summer, when the weather is much too hot to spend time in the kitchen. Spaghetti sugo vacanza is prepared by vacationing Italians all aver the country.




Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationKosher, Lactose-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureLight, Savory

Type of DishPasta, Pasta Sauce, Sauces


  • 8 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or mashed
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 9 leaves fresh basil, torn
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil. plus extra as needed
  • 14 oz. spaghetti


  1. Chop tomatoes roughly and put them into a bowl with the garlic, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper.

  2. Stir in the oil and let stand, covered, for at least an hour, preferably not in the refrigerator.

  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti, and stir, making sure all the spaghetti is immersed in the boiling water. Cover the pot and return to a boil, then remove the lid and continue to cook the spaghetti until al dente.

  4. Drain and return to the pot, pour in the sauce, toss together, adding more oil if required, and transfer to a dish to serve at once.


  1. Vacation Spaghetti with Mozzarella: Prepare the basic recipe, adding a handful of chopped mozzarella to the spaghetti and sauce as you toss them together.

  2. Vacation Spaghetti with Black Olives: Prepare the basic recipe, adding a handful of coarsely chopped pitted black olives to the tomato sauce before letting it stand.

  3. Vacation Spaghetti with Capers: Prepare the basic recipe, replacing the basil with a heaping tablespoonful of rinsed and dried capers, coarsely chopped.

  4. Vacation Spaghetti with Green Bell Pepper: Prepare the basic recipe, adding a seeded green bell pepper, chopped into small cubes, to the tomato sauce before letting it stand.

  5. Vacation Spaghetti with Ricotta: Prepare the basic recipe, adding 3 tablespoons ricotta to the tomato sauce and spaghetti when you toss them together.


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