Get your paws off of that jarred marinara sauce, darling! It’s summer. Treat yourself to something that’s fresher, healthier, more flavorful and just as simple to whip up. This No-Cook Tomato Sauce Pasta is a staple in my weeknight dinner rotation once the sweet, juicy heirlooms pop up in the market. Gah! I love it. Basically, you whizz up tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil…toss in pasta. Done. You can do it. I know it!
Here’s the thing: You could very easily chop the tomatoes by hand. I started doing that but quickly got lazy and moved the whole project over to the food processor—the job’s done in seconds this way! If you don’t feel like pasta, use the no-cook sauce as a topping for grilled steak, chicken or fish. Ooh! You could even just spoon it over crostini for a quickie appetizer.
If you’re feeling adventurous, experiment and mix-in other things you have in your pantry. Sliced olives would be awesome. Capers. Dried oregano. Red pepper flakes. No one knows your taste better than you (and you really can’t mess this one up). Give it a try and let me know what you think. Psst! The more salty parmesan cheese you add, the better it tastes. Enjoy!
photos by Erin Phraner
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 large handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- Good-quality parmesan cheese, for grating
- PANTRY STAPLES: Extra-virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook at the label directs.
- Trim any gnarly bits off your tomatoes, then cut into quarters and add three to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse 15 to 20 times until finely chopped. Add the remaining tomato and pulse about 5 times or until coarsely chopped; transfer tomato mixture to large bowl. Stir in basil, garlic, about 1/4 cup olive oil, two big pinches salt, and pepper to taste.
- Drain the pasta. Toss with the prepared sauce. Divide among plates and top with lots of finely grated parmesan cheese.