Here we are, deep into tomato season. It is HOT here in the Washington, DC area; temperatures in the 90s are predicted for later today with high humidity. It’s not a day to spend a lot of time inside cooking, and it’s too hot to even fire up the grill. So here’s a fresh, simple, no-cook tomato sauce that I use on pasta. Fresh herbs, garlic, and a bit of vinegar brighten the mix and round out the flavor, and it’s fat-free, too.
I love beefsteak tomatoes, which I used for this dish, but use the best of whatever type available to you. The best tomatoes are fragrant and flavorful. They have a distinctive, well, tomato smell. It’s that deeply herbal, green, musty, “warm summer day” scent. If you aren’t in the habit of smelling tomatoes after you pick them from the garden or before you buy them from a farm market or supermarket, I suggest you do. Learn what a good tomato smells like and you’ll be rewarded with the tastiest tomatoes.
No-Cook Tomato Sauce for Pasta
Makes 2 cups sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, squeezed and chopped
- 1/4 cup basil, cut in a chiffonade
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, finely minced or minced and smashed
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 pound pasta: bucatini, linguini, or spaghetti
Rinse and core the tomatoes. Slice them in half horizontally, so that you cut through all of the seed pockets inside. Pick one of the halves up with the open seed pockets facing outward then squeeze out the pulp and seeds. Give the tomato a good shake to loosen and remove the last of the pulp and seeds. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes. Chop them coarsely.
Combine the chopped tomatoes with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Correct seasoning. Cook your pasta. Drain well. Add the hot pasta to the sauce in the bowl and stir well. Correct seasoning.
We like this pasta and sauce as is, but you could serve it with grated fresh parmesan cheese.