When you bite into something that is at it’s ripest and in season, it’s like tasting a spoonful of sunshine!
I mean, you know the difference between tasting a strawberry in February (remember, I live in Ontario!) and tasting one that has just been picked in June? It’s unbelievably different!
And tomatoes?!? I picked a basket of tomatoes from my garden yesterday and was driving them to my dad’s house, and I just couldn’t resist…I ate one like an apple. It was unreal!
I’ve been meaning to post this recipes for years. It became popular when Martha Stewart posted a simple version in her magazine about 5-6 years ago and everyone jumped on the raw tomato pasta bandwagon…me included! After a few attempts, I created my own version but the beauty of this recipe is it’s easy to tweak it and make it your own!
With this recipe, the only thing you have to cook is the pasta. Make it all tomato season long. This is the freshest, and most vibrant recipe you can make in the summer…and the most simple! Nothing could be easier, or taste better.
If you don’t mind the vibrant taste of basil, tear it with your hands, rather than slicing with a knife.
And if you think the raw garlic (which, by the way, is such a healthy thing to eat…the benefits of garlic are at their best when eaten uncooked) will bother you, try smashing it with this trick.
Remember to use exceptionally good tomatoes (that’s why making it during the height of tomato season is the best) and the best olive oil you have on hand. If you can, use a variety of tomatoes – big beefy ones, meaty plum tomatoes, and maybe one or two sweeter tomatoes like yellow or orange tomatoes. But, the most important thing in this dish is that they are used at the height of their maturity. If you are making this dish in September, the skin may be a bit tough…feel free to peel them (no need to poach them…if the peel is tough, it should peel away with a small knife).
If the seeds bother you, scoop them out with your fingers but keep the tomato water in a small dish…we’ll be using that later!
See how meaty these tomatoes are?! Fresh from the garden and soooo red!!
If you want to change it up, you might add chopped capers and oregano in the bowl and maybe crumble some good quality feta on the dish instead of parmesan; or add some hot pepper flakes with the crushed garlic and add slivered celery leaves instead of basil. This dish is about making a raw/simple sauce with what you have on hand and that the sauce will be ready by the time the pasta has boiled….you can basically make it a different way all summer long!
And, the tomato mixture is amazing on bread…just sayin’
Summer Fresh No-Cook Tomato Sauce
- 1 pkg linguine or spaghetti (about 1 pound or 454 g)
- 1.5 kg ripe tomatoes (preferably meaty tomatoes which mean they will be more pulpy and less watery) (about 8-10 medium tomatoes)
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup basil, slivered
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Regiano, divided
Put a pot of water on the stove to boil; when it reaches a boil salt the water and add the pasta.
As the pasta cooks, take out your cutting board, and dice the tomatoes, removing some the the seeds but saving the tomato water, and add them to a large bowl.
Add the chopped herbs and garlic; stir.
Add olive oil and 1/4 cup of the parmigiano to the tomato mixture and stir again.
When the pasta is ready (you want to turn it off just a tad before it's ready), place a large skillet on the stove and heat to medium.
Strain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta water, ad add it to the pan; add the reserved tomato water and stir to coat (if you didn't have that much tomato water, you can add a few spoonfuls of liquid from the tomato mixture).
Once the pasta is coated well, put it in a large bowl; add the raw tomato mixture and toss well.
Serve immediately (or at room temperature) with extra cheese