The Everyday Chef: Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce
Alex Caspero, MA, RD, CLT
Everyday Chef, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters
It’s no secret that pasta is one of my favorite foods and a staple weeknight dinner option. With hundreds of ingredient possibilities, it’s a relatively easy and inexpensive meal that I turn to week after week. This no-cook version is my go-to dinner for fuss-free, busy summer evenings. It’s the perfect option when both my tomato and basil plants are overproducing and I don’t feel like doing much cooking. Juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil, fruity olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar are all you need for a delicious and simple no-cook tomato sauce. The results are effortless and impressive.
This sauce is a bright departure from the typical, heavy, slow-cooked version. Toss all of the ingredients together and then marinade on the counter to slightly cook the tomatoes, giving the sauce depth and richness. Once you try this modest sauce on pasta, enjoy it as a topping for bruschetta, pizza or over any other cooked grain. Since tomatoes are the star, enjoy this one in the dead of summer with ruby red, ripe tomatoes.
Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce Recipe
1 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
12 ounces penne pasta (whole wheat if preferred)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Combine the chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic cloves, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to let flavors meld together.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain and toss hot pasta with the chopped tomato sauce. Stir in parmesan cheese, if using, and toss to combine.
Per serving (serves 4): 353 calories 10.7g fat, 67mg cholesterol, 52.3g carbohydrates, 1.4g fiber, 3g sugar, 13.1g protein
Photo Credit: Alex Caspero