Recipe: Fresh Tomatoes on That Pasta!
With hot weather, nothing more refreshing than pasta with a fresh tomato sauce. Why have a sauce simmering on a hot stove on a steamy summer day, after all? You might ask, “Why have pasta at all for lunch on a hot day?”
For an Italian, though, what’s lunch without pasta?
Years ago, Pino’s wonderful mother, Signora Vincenza, showed me her way of making a summer fresh tomato pasta sauce. It was an August day and so we used basil, the herb which usually stars in this fresh tomato sauce. It’s not yet ready in our garden, though, so I used mountain oregano the other day. Another alternative: finely-chopped parsley and/or fresh mint.
And enjoy this recipe for
Pasta al Pomodoro Fresco
- Ripe tomatoes (small cherry tomatoes or large tomatoes), diced into small pieces
- fresh basil (a few leaves) or parsley and/or mint or Sicilian mountain oregano.
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves
- Extra-virgin olive oil (q.b. – “quanto basta” or “as much as you need”)
- salt, q.b.
- Parmesan or pecorino cheese, q.b.
- pasta, rigatoni or penne (1 lb for every 5 persons)
- Optional: diced mozzarella cheese or diced pecorino (I used Pino’s goat’s milk cheese, tomino di caprino, when making this pasta the other day)
Finely chop tomatoes with garlic (but omit the garlic if you will add diced cheese to the pasta sauce).
Finely dice basil or mint and/or parsley – and I always use the mezzzaluna (“half-moon”, ie, a cradle knife), a family treasure: an elderly woman gave it to Pino the early 1970’s:
Pino’s mother had no sophisticated culinary equipment in her kitchen, so she simply crushed the tomatoes, basil, garlic-mixture with the bottom of a glass. I still do the same as I know no other way to make this pasta sauce….!
If you’re making the sauce with cheese, crush the tomatoes with the herbs you are using (no garlic) and add cheese cut into small pieces. For our pasta the other day, Pino’s goat cheese enhanced the juicy ripe tomatoes:
Boil salted water and when at a rolling boil, drop in pasta, draining when al dente (“to the tooth”).
Add fresh tomato sauce to pasta and add a bit of olive oil as needed. Sprinkle with Parmesan or pecorino cheese.
Click here for more recipes
Read about another favorite dish Signora Alagna taught me
Here’s another recipe (using the mezzaluna)
Click here for another tasty summer recipe (for me, using our mezzaluna)