A great way to channel summer in the winter is to roast plum tomatoes (yes, store-bought winter tomatoes) and puree them into a deeply flavorful sauce for pasta. The sauce is so intense that it works best as a bed for filled pasta like tortelloni or ravioli. (You can loosen it with a bit of pasta-cooking water.) I like the fresh tortelloni by Rana sold at Cronig's. I use the prosciutto and cheese version for this.

Beyond that, this recipe is more like a serving suggestion for you; feel free to improvise. I used crispy salami, peas (yes, frozen), and Parmigiano to round things out. Then I garnished with the freshest green things I could find: some pea shoots from Mermaid Farm and some parsley from the garden.

The only trick here is to move quickly so that your pasta does not get cold. Have your tomato sauce gently warming on the stove, warm your serving bowls ahead, cook the salami ahead, warm the peas at the last minute, and be ready to sit down once you put the tortelloni in the water (it only takes a few minutes to cook.)

Serves 2

  • 1 recipe Quick-Roasted Tomatoes, pureed into sauce
  • 1 11-ounce package fresh tortelloni
  • Kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 ounces cured salami, thinly sliced and sautéed until crisp (or substitute with bacon, pancetta, or ham)
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, microwaved or cooked briefly
  • ¼ cup (more or less) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • coarsely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, or mint) or whole small herb leaves and/or fresh pea shoots for garnish


1. Put the tomato sauce into a small saucepan and heat it gently over low heat. Warm two shallow serving bowls.

2. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions (do not overcook), and drain, being sure to reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water to loosen the tomato sauce if desired. (Put a bowl or cup next to the strainer in the sink so that you’ll remember to save some water.)

3. Taste the tomato sauce and whisk in a little pasta water, a tablespoon at a time, just to thin it a bit to your liking. Spoon most of the tomato sauce into the two bowls, spreading it around as a base. Arrange equal portions of tortelloni in both bowls over the sauce and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon the remaining sauce randomly over the pasta. Garnish with crispy salami, peas, Parmigiano, and the herbs and/or pea shoots. Serve right away.