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A Tomato Legend and Quick Tomato Recipe

Tomatoes are a luscious treat in August, and there’s a rich history behind these radiant fruits. Originating from the South America Andes, tomatoes made their way to Mexico, transforming from a wild plant to a cultivated crop. Their introduction to Europe, then to North America, brought about myths, including one that considered tomatoes as “poison apples” due to lead poisoning from pewter plates. The story of Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson’s alleged public consumption of tomatoes in 1820, proving they weren’t poisonous, has been both idolized and debunked. However, tomato enthusiasts remain unfazed by such tales, celebrating the fruit’s delightful taste.

Here’s a swift and delicious way to enjoy fresh tomatoes:

Very Quick Tomato Sauce on Pasta
Yield: 4 servings


  • 12 to 16 ounces thick spaghetti
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • A generous splash of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • A large pinch of salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 to 4 ears leftover corn, kernels removed
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • A handful of basil leaves, torn at the last moment


  1. Cook spaghetti in salted water until al dente, as per package instructions.
  2. While pasta cooks, core the tomatoes and trim the bottoms. Grate tomatoes into a large bowl, preserving the fresh pulp and discarding (or consuming) the skins.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it.
  4. In the pasta pot, heat olive oil, add garlic and cook on medium-high heat until fragrant (about a minute).
  5. Introduce tomatoes, salt, red pepper, and corn kernels to the pot. Allow the mixture to simmer briefly.
  6. Remove from heat, mix in the drained pasta and grated parmesan.
  7. Serve with freshly torn basil on top.

Enjoy the vibrant flavors of summer with this delectable dish!

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