You know things are bad when you find me eating mozzarella sticks at 2AM.

In a diner.  Across the street from a Doubletree Hotel.  In Tarrytown, New York.

Like.  Really bad.


You see…I don’t eat mozzarella sticks.  I love them.  But I don’t eat them.

I also don’t eat in diners.  General rule.

It’s just…I can make my own pancakes, you know?

And then there was Tarrytown.  The land that good food forgot.


The land where five slices of grilled zucchini served on top of half a cup of rice was considered a “vegetarian entree”.

And well, I know I exaggerate a lot around here.  But that’s the plain and simple completely realistic unadulterated truth.  It was a sad state of affairs.

Tarrytown, for those of you not from the tri-state area, is a town in Westchester, about 40 minutes north of NYC.  Far enough to feel like the country but close enough that you expect them to know that people who don’t eat meat actually do exist in this world.    We went for our MD/PhD Retreat, which is basically two days of talking about science, one night of uncontrollable drunkenness, and, apparently, four meals worth of awful food.

Unfortunately for the people at Doubletree, I’ve become one of those people who gets livid about being served awful food.  I ask to talk to managers and head chefs.  I throw around the phrase “food writer”.  And I write blog posts about my terrible experience and then email them to whoever has the guts to take responsibility for the situation

So that is how I ended up eating mozzarella sticks.  (The beer and two glasses of wine I had on a near-empty stomach also helped.)


I could not have been happier to get home to my kitchen full of real food.

And my refrigerator full of this pasta.  You might be looking at the phrase “tomato-peach sauce” thinking that two days of near-starvation has put my taste buds out of whack.  But hear me out.  Something magical happens when you combine these two summer fruits in a baking pan and roast them until they are caramelized and richly flavored.  Especially when you mix in some cinnamon and chipotle chili powder.

Sweet, spicy, savory bowls of carb heaven.  Vegetarian food done right.

Doubletree – take note.


Pasta with Tomato-Peach Sauce
Serves 3, adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking For Health


  • 4 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large peaches, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 8 oz pasta


  1. In a lightly oiled 9×13-inch baking dish, stir together the tomatoes, peaches, onions, olive oil, salt, cinnamon, black pepper and chipotle chili powder.  In a 450 degree oven, roast uncovered, stirring at least twice during cooking, until the ingredients have softened and thickened, about 40 minutes.  Stir in chickpeas, tarragon and balsamic vinegar.
  2. When the sauce has been roasting for about 25 minutes, bring salted water to a boil in a large pot.  Stir in pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain well.
  3. Mix the pasta with the sauce.  Divide among four warm bowls and top with feta cheese.

I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted by Honeybunch of The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch and also to Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya of My Sweet and Savory.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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91 Responses to Pasta with Tomato-Peach Sauce

  1. Simply Life says:

    I think that town needs you as a chef somewhere!

  2. Pierce says:

    And I am sure they did take note if they saw your comments and dish here! Nice combo of textures….a peach and tomato.

  3. Tomato and peaches together? Genius! The sauce sounds perfect for the pasta or you could go the easy route and just eat it with a spoon! LOL! So great

  4. powlig says:

    OH man that would be tough to end up there, especially as a vegetarian. Glad you are home.

  5. bonnie says:

    peaches and tomatoes oh yummy!! love this, take that dt!!

  6. Eliana says:

    This is totally vegetarian cuisine done right. I hope the folks at the Doubletree learned a valuable lesson.

  7. Beth says:

    I would never have thought of putting these flavors together, but you make them sound great! Sorry about the Doubletree experience.

  8. What a genius combination, I can not wait to try this! I went to a wedding once at a super fancy hotel. I can’t imagine how much was spent on food. All they served for entrees was a monster veal chop and when I asked for the vegetarian option they brought me the leftover roasted veggies from the cocktail hour. I don’t get it.

  9. I donot doubt you for second. This looks outrageous!

  10. Lora says:

    Conference food sucks. Love this combination of flavors for a pasta sauce. Fabulous and so summery.

  11. That sounds like an unbearable outing! Seriously, it’d be a deal breaker for me. Forget about the rest of the event- If there isn’t decent food, count me out. Thank goodness you survived to come home and make this creative sauce! I would have never though of adding peaches to a tomato-y pasta.

  12. Candace says:

    I would have never thought of putting those two fruits together. Both are favorites of mine….separately. I have to say that I’m intrigued with this beautiful pasta creation, Joanne. It looks absolutely delicious and that photo of the peach half is amazing.

  13. Tomato peach sounds different but I take your word for it! I haven’t eaten fried cheese for a while but its nice, even more so after beers and wine. Wine and cheese go well together, fried food and beer go well together, fried cheese goes well with beer and wine – there is logic in your food choices:)

  14. I’m glad you survived your ordeal. Bad food is so sad for us food people.
    This pasta is INTRIGUING. Of course I have loads of peaches and tomatoes begging to be used. I might just make this tonight. (And I’ll report back if I do!). Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Bob says:

    Alright, you’ve sold me. It’s the tarragon that did it though, I love tarragon. Heh.

  16. Delightful. I love the combo of these flavors.

  17. I have to say you had me wondering about tomatoes and peaches. But now that you say you roast them together, I can see how that would taste fabulous!

  18. Chaya says:

    You are right. I looked twice when I saw the peaches included in this recipe but then, I though, Joanne, knows what she is doing and never tells a lie. If she says this is good, it is.

    I admit, I can’t imagine how this tastes. Thanks for linking it to My Meatless Mondays.

  19. mmmm. i made a roasted veggie pasta sauce last week that was SO good. i’ll have to try adding fruit next time. 🙂

  20. Danielle says:

    Interesting – I may need to give this one a try. I think this would be a real winner with the kids.

  21. I understand the mozzarella sticks–I have trouble saying no to them on a menu. I actually love diners and their home-cooking style, but there are good and bad ones out there. This peach-tomato thing–intriguing. May have to give it a go.

  22. Wow, I wouldn’t have thought vegetarian options would have been so bad so close to NYC. This past weekend my husband and I were in Kanab, UT, a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, and the restaurant we ate at had a slew of vegan options. You should have requested to have the retreat in Kanab, I’m thinking. At least you got to come back to a dish like this one. I love the flavor of roasted tomatoes, and I think peaches would be incredible, too.

  23. La Liz says:

    Agreed — sometimes I wish I had fasted, instead of trying to make sense of the “vegetarian” options at some hotels. With some obvious exceptions (Danny Meyer, et. al), I seem to eat better when I cook for myself. I like seasonal peach/tomato touch. Must try!

  24. I love all the Moosewood cookbooks, so this has to be great. What an unexpected combination of flavors and textures, too!

  25. Dawn says:

    Ha! Take THAT Doubletree! Not once did I think your tastebuds were out of whack but that comes from someone making dessert pudding out of chickpeas so don’t ask me. I’m buying peaches and making this.

  26. Tasha says:

    Tomatoes and peaches are not a combo I’d think to pair, but I’ll completely trust that it was fabulous! And with chickpeas, pasta and feta- I don’t think it’s possible not to love.

  27. Ben says:

    Tomato peach sauce? Now that’s something I could get very easily into 🙂

  28. This sounds wonderful! I was thinking about a peach tomato combination earlier this week. Of course, I’ve been thinking about a peach/anything combination for a while now. This sounds delicious and I have a huge basket of peaches in the kitchen calling my name. Thanks for the idea.

  29. Jeanette says:

    It is too bad so many places don’t make more of an effort to come up with wholesome tasty vegetarian fare like this pasta dish you made. Would never have thought to make a tomato-peach sauce, but I’ve seen tomatoes and peaches together in salsas, so why not! With the chickpeas as protein, this is a one dish meal!

  30. Shannon says:

    wow, very interesting combination! i’m intrigued enough to try it 🙂 so long as i have time…

  31. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, What a beautiful recipe. I love combining fruit with a main course dish! Bravo!!! Blessings, Catherine xo

  32. Cara says:

    It sounds pretty awesome to me. Then again I just ate tomato-orange soup in Portland and that was pretty divine. What shall we pair next, tomatoes and apples? I think so.

  33. Veronica says:

    I’ve been seeing peach sauces in savory dishes a lot lately. PW just had a bbq peach sauce recipe. This looks really good, girl! Sorry you had to suffer so long without decent food.

  34. I’m glad that you’re standing up for good food! Go Joanne, go!
    And I think I can convince my sister to make this with me when we’re with her in a few days. Peaches + tomatoes = I believe.

  35. Mary says:

    Sorry the retreat actually turned into a retreat. Good or bad at least some served cheese and rice and you were able to keep hunger at bay. Yourown pastalooks wonderful and I’m sure itisdelicious. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary.

  36. Juliana says:

    Joanne, this pasta sounds and looks fabulous…love the peach and tomatoes…what a great combination, great way to incorporate fruit.
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

  37. Pam says:

    I can’t stand getting bad food in a restaurant. This sauce sounds amazing girl!

  38. Cam says:

    when I first saw peach and tomato I was all in. I think I wanna be you when I grow up. I need to cook like this!

  39. girlichef says:

    Definitely veg food done right…my mouth is actually watering a bit.

  40. Faith says:

    Just this past weekend I had my first encounter with the wonder that is the tomato/peach combination! It was store-bought and in salsa form though…I’m sure your homemade pasta was even better! (And you’re right, Doubletree should take note, lol!)

  41. Lynn says:

    Tomatoes and peaches together sound lovely to me. Unfortunately, as we are truly eating seasonally around here with our garden, the peaches were done a week or two ago and the tomatoes are just now starting to ripen. But maybe next year? Thanks for the good travel tips, too — now we foodies know where NOT to visit 😉

  42. tigerfish says:

    Sweet! The addition of peach is genius! 😀

  43. Amy says:

    Actually, the phrase “tomato-peach sauce” got me sitting up straight in my seat! I have no doubt the combo is magical.

  44. OohLookBel says:

    I’ve had nectarines with soba noodles so I can imagine how delicious peaches-pasta would be. I’m bookmarking this for when summer peaches roll around. Can’t wait!

  45. Jen says:

    Lovely! I’m absolutely a fan of peaches and savory. (And mozzarella sticks only in an emergency.) I’ll have to give this a try! Also: I see a team in training ad on your page. Did you run? As a cancer survivor myself, a huge THANKS for your work!

  46. Jessica B. says:

    I grew up one town over from Tarrytown, and without a doubt I’m sure that you were at the El Dorado. I can’t count how many mornings, evenings, weekends, etc. I spent at the El Dorado. I’m sure it wouldn’t taste nearly as good now, but back then it was just about the best thing going.

  47. Tomato and peaches on top of pasta? It sounds delicious but is it legal?


  48. I have to admit, I did think the starvation kicked in but after you explained it, it does sound pretty awesome

  49. Elizabeth says:

    Tomato and peach are such a good combo. I tasted a delicious tomato peach soup at Smorgasburg

  50. So now I see that lunch you were talking about and boy does it look good!

    Funny is that I have a very similar recipe coming up 😉

  51. Tarrytown sounds suspiciously like Somerville. 😉

  52. I totally sympathize with your veg-friendly food plight.. even worse if you go vegan!

    I can’t believe I missed this sauce in the Moosewood cookbook… I bet it would be fabulous overtop zucchini noodles!

  53. Megan says:

    I really like tomato-peach salsa, so I can definitely see how this would work!

    (I’ve been to Tarrytown before… used to tutor around there.)

  54. Anonymous says:

    Just made this. I followed the recipe exactly (minus half a tablespoon of balsamic) and I wanted to love it, I really did.. but it was so bad. Peaches and pasta just do not mix in my opinion.

  55. Reeni says:

    I love diners! But I love real food too. And I love your unique recipe. So much love. I would never of thought to mix peaches with tomatoes and pasta. But your sweet and spicy description has me convinced of its deliciousness!

  56. ohhh I love the peach in this!

  57. Man, your last post’s pizza looks SOOOO good.

    SO, when I got married, in the dark ages (15 years ago), two of my friends were vegetarian. In fact, she was my bridesmaid and her fiance was one of our groomsmen. Not knowing diddly about veg food, I kept asking her what they wanted to eat at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding.

    She kept saying “it’s not about the food” (and she still says this, by the way). Well, for the rehearsal dinner, the restaurant put two veg options right on the menu – veg lasagna and grilled veggies with rice, salad, and bread. I actually ordered the lasagna, as did her fiance, and it was good. She ordered the rice and got exactly what you said: 1/2c rice and 5 slices of grilled zucchini. I complained and they brought more food, but we couldn’t believe it.

    I think she ate fine at the wedding, but I don’t actually remember (too much wine).

    But then 8 years later, we all meet all the way across the country at an old friend’s wedding. The meal was a huge chicken breast, a big hunk of meat, vegetables, and a large scoop of mashed potatoes. You could feed three people on this.

    The vegetarians got 5 little mushroom filled ravioli. We all cracked up laughing, mostly because our table was made up of everyone from my wedding party (another couple too), and we still remembered that disaster from our wedding. It must be an East Coast thing.

  58. Carolyn Jung says:

    I think I would have just scarfed up all the free chocolate-chip cookies at the Doubletree. Now, THOSE are pretty dang good. 😉

  59. This is SUCH a gorgeous photo! Yum!

  60. Dude, I want to throw that term around too!! Do I count?? Teehee =) The pasta looks sensational!

  61. Johanna GGG says:

    I am excited by pairing tomato with peach – have done it in a chutney and it was heaven – must make this when peaches come into season

    and I sympathise about country chefs who have two things they can make – meat and chips! it aint pretty when you are holed up with them and no escape – am sure your kitchen brought much solace at the end of the trip

  62. I have NEVER seen a recipe like this but it sounds absolutely gorgeous!! Such a perfectly summery recipe that would be brilliant to serve to guests, would be pleasantly surprised by the ingredients i bet! Seriously delicious 🙂

  63. Luigi says:

    Joanne, what, what AND what?
    Together in a plate?
    No really can’t that kind of ‘inventiveness’ get you struck OFF the Italian register?

    Tell you what, I trust you, I would eat that.
    Luigi 🙂

  64. brandi says:

    I would never think to put peaches with tomatoes AND pasta, but it looks incredible!

  65. Ha ha , wish they would read this post , or maybe , somebody , ”somebody” might jus email it to them :-))))
    Well u sure have worked magic here with the pasta and tom peachy combi , sounds rocking for sure!
    And the pasta, super cute !
    Carb heaven , this is it !

  66. Claudie says:

    Beautiful combination of colors and textures in your dish 🙂

  67. Hahaha…now listen, don’t knock diners, you just need to know where the good ones are. Just cross the river 🙂 Great looking dish!

  68. Victoria says:

    Peaches? And tomatoes? I’m very very intrigued… and I also much see you soon! Miss you!

  69. That sounds like a foodie’s worst nightmare! And though I never would have thought to put peaches in pasta it sounds fresh and delicious and a bazillion times better than the Doubletree’s food.

  70. aki! says:

    Sweet and savory is such a strange combination for me still! But I love peaches.

    I’d have to think about it. Somedays, I think your recipes are too complex for me.

  71. That pretty much sounds like a food blogger’s version of hell right there. But I’m digging the peach/tomato combination, I never would have thought to try it!

  72. Monet says:

    I would take this over mozzarella sticks any day (and I like the things quite a bit!) Thank you so much for sharing yourself with me tonight. I’m about to go to sleep and I consider it a pleasure to end my “internet day” with a visit to your site. Much love from Austin!

  73. That Girl says:

    Tarrytown always makes me think of Washington Irving.

  74. I just finished some peach-tomato salsa, and I can attest to the fact that the flavor combination is fabulous! I’ve not tried roasting though- that may have to be my next project. Your pasta sounds divine. 🙂

  75. grace says:

    i love peach season for this very reason–they show up in the most unexpected places! delicious dish, joanne. 🙂

  76. Jo, this is a great combination….I love the Moosewood Cookbook, I should revisit it.
    You are going to think I am crazy, but I swear, I JUST REALIZED YOU ARE A VEGETARIAN. Wow. I guess I don’t miss the meat at all!

  77. How did I miss this recipe in the Moosewood book when I had all those peaches?! It sounds delicious.

  78. Ruth Daniels says:

    The pasta sounds awesome… the rest of your eating “adventure”…I use the term very loosely… not so much. Welcome home and thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  79. Ranjani says:

    Wow, this looks incredible. So perfect for this time of year. I’m a new reader and I can’t wait to explore more of your recipes. Thanks!

  80. Wow – I would never have thought of that combo either. Looks brilliant!

  81. Chris says:

    Yeah….you might have to get used to bad food at such conferences. It’s kind of always like that.

  82. Deborah says:

    But did you get a Doubletree chocolate chip cookie? I remember those cookies being mighty tasty – it might have made up for the bad food!!

    This pasta sounds great – something that I would have never put together, but it looks like it works perfectly!

  83. Foodfreak says:

    Wow, I love your photography, and the recipe sounds wonderful – truly a summer dish!

  84. Hmm usually I’m skeptical of savoury dishes with fruit but you’ve made this one sound really good!

  85. Anonymous says:

    I made this tonight…looks like about a year since the last comments! I received a huge bag of local peaches from a neighbor and I’m not into peach cobbler/pie, so was looking for something different to do with them. I double this recipe and it is AMAZING. If you could smell my kitchen while the peaches, tomatoes, and seasonings were roasting??? Heavenly. Thank you!

  86. […] know you’re totally scratching your head being all like…she put fruit in her pasta sauce […]

  87. […] years ago…Pasta with Tomato-Peach Sauce, Summer Vegetable Stir Fry with […]

  88. Tara says:

    Can you make the peach-tomato sauce the night before making the pasta? Trying to cut down on weeknight meal actual cook time:)

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