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In the summer, I grow and harvest tons of yellow, orange, and red cherry tomatoes. I put lots of them in salads or eat them right off the vine, but one of my favorite dishes is uncooked tomato sauce. This takes zero skill – other than patience to wait while the tomatoes become juicy and delectable!
This can be used to mix with cooked pasta of any kind, adding a dollop of fresh pesto or including fresh raw sweet corn, or any other type of cooked veggie or white bean. I always shower the top of the pasta with fresh ribbons of home-grown basil leaves and fresh Parmesan cheese.
Fresh Summer Uncooked Tomato Sauce With Basil
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 3 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- Sea Salt (probably around 1 teaspoon)
- Fresh ground black pepper (about 20 grinds)
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp slivered basil, divided (1 Tbsp slivered basil to mix with the raw tomatoes and another 1 Tbsp for serving)
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4-pound dry spaghetti noodles or fusilli
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese (to serve)
Combine the tomatoes, garlic, salt, black pepper, vinegar, basil, and oil in a wide bowl. Let sit uncovered at room temperature for at least an hour and up to 3 hours. Stir about once an hour. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
After the sauce has been on the counter for at least an hour and when you are ready for lunch or dinner, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Salt generously and add the dried pasta. Cook until the pasta is firm to the bite, following the directions on the package but checking 1 to 2 minutes before the suggested cooking time. I always reserve about ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water in case the final dish seems too dry.
Drain the pasta and toss with the raw tomato sauce. Add any other cooked leftover vegetables you wish, add some pasta cooking water if you desire, and sprinkle on the cheese. Top the dish with some ribbons of basil and serve.
PS: This mixture is also good on toasted baguettes, polenta, or even rice. I have been known to use it on top of white beans or white fish, such as baked halibut or even cod.