A few days ago, I walked into the grocery, and there they were: stacks of baskets overflowing with red, ripe Roma tomatoes – tomatoes that actually smelled like tomatoes – for $1 a pound.

So cheap you could buy some to eat and some to stomp.

So, to celebrate, I broke out one of my favorite recipes from my vegetarian college days – Grilled Tomato Linguine – a summery twist on the classic pasta with tomato sauce and cheese.

This tomato sauce is made by tossing the tomatoes with olive oil and thyme and then sprinkling them with salt and pepper before you grill them, either outdoors or using an indoor grill pan. The grilling intensifies the sweetness of the tomatoes, while the thyme gives them a savory balance. Once the tomatoes are soft and charred, I give them a rough chop and combine them with linguine, a little extra olive oil and some finely grated Parmesan cheese.

And then I wriggle into my peasant blouse and stomp tomatoes in the front yard, because this sauce will bring out the Sophia Loren in you.

Be prepared.

Grilled Tomato Linguine

From “Everyday Food”

Serves 4 to 6

  • Grilled Tomatoes (recipe follows)
  • 1 pound linguine
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 pound linguine. Cook according to package instructions. Drain; return to pot.
  2. Add oil, Parmesan and grilled tomatoes. Divide among bowls, and serve immediately with more Parmesan.

Grilled Tomatoes

  • 3 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and halved
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Heat grill to high. In a bowl, toss tomatoes, olive oil and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Starting with cut sides down, grill tomatoes until soft and charred, 8 to 12 minutes per side.
  3. Return tomatoes to bowl; cut into rough pieces with kitchen shears.