Marlena's Green Tomato Spaghetti

Green Tomato Spaghetti


In honour of dear Marlena Spieler, who left this world on July 6, 2023, I would like to share with you this recipe she told me about a few years ago, told to her by a chef friend.  She and I both adored tomatoes!  Marlena was a whirlwind!  A food writer and author of award winning cookbooks, writing for well regarded magazines like Bon Appetit and Saveur.  She also wrote a column “The Roving Feast” for the San Francisco Chronicle that I looked forward to reading each time a story was published.  She had such a lively style of writing, full of humourous tales and always travelling with her famous, well used green polka dot bag!  She is missed!  But each time I make a recipe of hers I know she’s happy that I am.

Makes about 2 servings

For the Sauce:

4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 garlic, squashed
Small handful Nicoise olives, pitted
1 small peperoncino, fresh or dried or chili flakes to taste
Approx. 2 cups green cherry tomatoes (if unavailable use 5 or 6 (2-3 cups) coarsely chopped green tomatoes)
Chopped Italian parsley

For approx. 225g spaghetti

Make the Sauce:

Using a non-stick pan, heat 4 Tbsp. EVO. on medium heat.  Add the garlic and the pepperoncino, followed by the pitted olives, for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Note: I cooked them down a bit more and squished them to bring out the juices.

Meanwhile cook your spaghetti just short of al dente. Add some of the pasta cooking water to the green tomato sauce. Save and set aside about 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the spaghetti and add to the pan with the sauce, tossing and adding more pasta cooking as needed, tossing very well. Add the chopped parsley. Remove the pan from the heat, add 2-3 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano. Place the spaghetti in a warmed serving dish and serve passing the Parmigiano.

Buon appetito!


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