How to use up squishy tomatoes

Miss Thrifty8 July 31, 2012

This is a really simple recipe for using up squishy tomatoes. You know the kind of tomatoes I mean. Past their best, they are too soft and squishy to pop into a salad, but you aren’t ready to throw them out. And you know that if you leave them in the fridge, they’re going to get even softer and squishier, until you have to throw them out anyway.

What do I do? Well, I roast them with some garlic,  olive oil and herbs from the garden for a quick and delicious pasta sauce.

You will need:

  • A few tomatoes
  • A few garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few sprigs of thyme, rosemary or whatever else you have growing out back
  • Hot paprika (optional)
  • Pasta
  • Hard cheese, such as Parmesan or Grana Padano, to serve


Halve the tomatoes and lay them out on an oven tray:

  use up tomatoes

Season them, chuck on the garlic cloves and add the sprigs of herbs to the tray – you may want to poke these under the tomatoes so that they don’t char. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the hot paprika, if you have it.

use up squishy tomatoes

Roast in a preheated oven at 190 – 200 degrees centigrade / gas mark 5 or 6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.

The tomatoes and pasta should be ready at about the same time. Mix together…

roast tomatoes and pasta

…And serve. That’s it! It smells lovely while it cooks, and tastes good too.  You don’t have to serve it with cheese: I’m on a dairy-free diet at the moment, due to feeding a baby with a suspected dairy intolerance, so I tear up basil leaves from the plant on the window sill and add those to the dish instead.

The tomatoes in the picture are cherry tomatoes. I found half a forgotten carton at the back of the fridge, before they turned bad. But any tomatoes will do, even the bigger ones. You may wish to quarter the bigger tomatoes though. The herbs in the photos are thyme and oregano.

I like this recipe because it is easy-peasy, cheap and has saved many a saggy tom from the composter. But I am equally certain that you lot have some excellent ideas for using up squishy tomatoes – if you do, let’s hear them!

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8 Responses to “How to use up squishy tomatoes

Orlando says:

Sounds good but my favorite will always be fried green tomatoes!

August 1, 2012 at 4:30 am

mags says:

Aren’t ‘green’ tomatoes exactly the opposite of this recipe? They are in a separate category altogether can’t compare them! Btw I have tons of cherry tomatoes in my garden and this recipe sounds lovely – thank u Miss Thrifty!

August 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Johnny Debt says:

It always amazes me just how much food we throw out because its sell by date, or use by date has expired.

If we went back to common sense we probably would not waste so much (food or money)!

I am sure that your meal tastes even better, as the tomatoes will have a more intense and better taste when they are past their so called best.

August 2, 2012 at 6:23 am

Susan Bewley says:

I’m going to have to try this! I have bags of tomatoes right now since our garden is producing more than everyone can eat! I think I will use the ones that don’t go in a homemade tomato sauce like this. Thanks for the idea!

August 3, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Jennifer says:

Fantastic tips..they might be too squishy for this but…whenever i have veggies that aren’t looking so hot I slice them, brush them with olive oil, throw some seasoning on them and put them in the oven at 425 for a while until they’re crispy. Tomato is one of my all time favorite vegetables.
Jennifer Goldblum

August 6, 2012 at 10:36 am

Miss Thrifty says:

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I hesitated to post this recipe because it’s so, well… easy! But then I figured that the simplicity is half the appeal, isn’t it?

@Johnny – I think you are right about the more intense taste. I like making this with cherry toms because they have a sweet taste anyway. As opposed to the big, watery, flavourless tomatoes.

@mags & @Susan – let me know how the dish goes!

@Jennifer – I do something similar, as a pasta sauce. A twist on the tomato recipe, I guess. It tastes yum, doesn’t it? The roasted garlic makes all the difference, in my experience.

August 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

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