Penne with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Fontina

Last year I started a vegetable garden.  This year I tripled the size of it.  One of the results was a lot of tomatoes.  I first came across this recipe close to twenty years ago, and it is one of the best ways I know of to use up a bunch of tomatoes.  And, it’s tasty too!

I’ve made this four times over the last month and a half and am hoping for a fifth if my tomato crop allows for it.  This is also a great dish to prepare when guests come over as you can do basically all of the prep work beforehand.  All that’s needed is to boil the pasta 10 minutes before you’d like to eat.

When it comes to the fontina cheese you have two options.  Option one is to cut it into small cubes and add it with the basil.  Option two is to grate it on after it’s plated.  For what it’s worth, I lean towards option two.

I started doing something new this year since I also had a nice supply of zucchini – which I believe has been a nice addition.  If by chance I was grilling something up to a few days before making this dish, I’d grill up 4-5 slices of zucchini with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and keep it in the fridge until I was ready to use it.  Then, when everything is assembled, I warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds, slice it up, and mix it in along with the pasta and tomatoes.  

I then finish it off with a final grating of Pecorino Romano and viola!



  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound organic penne pasta
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese
  • 4-5 thick slices grilled zucchini (optional)
  • Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)



  • Pour the vinegar into a bowl large enough to hold the pasta.  Gradually whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream until fully incorporated.  Whisk in the salt, pepper, and garlic.  Stir in the tomatoes.  Cover and let stand at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours.
  • When you’re ready to eat, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender yet slightly firm in the center, 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain and add to the tomatoes.  Add the basil.  Toss and mix.  Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.



Recipe courtesy – Fresh Choices by David Joachim and Rochelle Davis