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Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Tomato Sauce

I’m on a quest to enjoy as many summer vegetables as possible before the season is over. And I’m always looking for quick and easy pasta dishes for busy days. This hits the mark on both fronts – a light, fresh tomato sauce that requires no cooking. None.

There are dozens of fresh tomato sauce recipes. This is a wonderful version and it’s ridiculously simple. Grab beautiful red, ripe Roma tomatoes and brighten them with fresh basil and parsley. Throw in garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, an added touch of heat from red pepper flakes and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese.

For this garden fresh sauce, a couple of notes on ingredients. Use a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil – Olio Santo is always a great choice. The flavors are clean and pure providing a perfect compliment to the tomatoes and herbs. And you only want to use fresh herbs. Since you’re not cooking the sauce, the notes of dried herbs won’t have time to fully develop. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to find fresh basil, parsley and Roma tomatoes year-round in food markets. So don’t limit yourself to the summer solstice to enjoy this quick pasta dish.

This recipe makes about 7-cups of fresh sauce, enough for 2 pounds of pasta. If you don’t need quite this much to feed your group,  just cut the recipe in half. You can also refrigerate or freeze any leftover sauce then gently reheat it when you’re ready to dish it up.

Toss this simple sauce with your favorite curly noodle. Rotini or fusilli are great options to capture and tuck all the garden-fresh goodness in those crevices.

Dinner is on the tables in less than 20 minutes!

Fresh Tomato Sauce

4 pounds fresh, ripe Roma tomatoes – about 12 to 14, stemmed and quartered

2 cloves garlic, halved or 2 teaspoons minced

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2-1/2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste plus extra for cooking the pasta

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 to 3 teaspoons brown sugar

1 packed cup fresh basil leaves

1/3 packed cup fresh parsley

1-1/3 cups grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving

2 pounds Rotini or Fusilli pasta noodles

Place half of the tomatoes in a blender and puree until slightly smooth – using the blender tamper if needed – about 20 to 30 seconds.

Add the remaining tomatoes along with the garlic, olive oil, 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and 2 teaspoons of the brown sugar.

Process until the remaining tomatoes are finely chopped and the sauce is somewhat smooth – about 1 minute – then toss in the basil and parsley.

Process until the herbs are blended into the sauce, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Check for seasoning and if needed, add the remaining salt and brown sugar. (Brown sugar helps to smooth out the flavor and enhance the tomato flavor.)

For the pasta:

Add a handful of kosher salt to a large pot of water– the water should taste salty. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender. Cooking time will vary depending on the type of pasta. For rotini or fusilli, usually about 7 to 10 minutes.

For 2-pounds of pasta – Transfer the cooked pasta to a large bowl with about 2 to 3 cups of tomato sauce.

Add 1-cup of the Parmesan cheese and toss along with the pasta and tomato sauce. Ladle in more sauce and remaining cheese to thoroughly coat the pasta. Let the pasta rest for about 5 minutes to soak up some of the sauce. Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese for serving.

Refrigerate or freeze any leftover sauce. When ready to serve, gently warm in a saucepan over medium heat. Makes about 7 cups of tomato sauce – enough for 2 pounds of pasta.

Fresh Tomato Sauce, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

August 24, 2018
: 6 to 8

Ridiculously simple - a light, fresh tomato sauce that requires no cooking. None.

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 pounds fresh, ripe Roma tomatoes – about 12 to 14, stemmed and quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved or 2 teaspoons minced
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-1/2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste plus extra for cooking the pasta
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 packed cup fresh parsley
  • 1-1/3 cups grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 2 pounds Rotini or Fusilli pasta noodles
Directions
  • Step 1 Place half of the tomatoes in a blender and puree until slightly smooth – using the blender tamper if needed – about 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Step 2 Add the remaining tomatoes along with the garlic, olive oil, 2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and 2 teaspoons of the brown sugar.
  • Step 3 Process until the remaining tomatoes are finely chopped and the sauce is somewhat smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Step 4 Toss in the basil and parsley then process until the herbs are blended into the sauce, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Step 5 Check for seasoning and if needed, add the remaining salt and brown sugar. (Brown sugar helps to smooth out the flavor and enhance the tomato flavor.)
  • Step 6 For the pasta:
  • Step 7 Add a handful of kosher salt to a large pot of water– the water should taste salty. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender. Cooking time will vary depending on the type of pasta. For rotini or fusilli, usually about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Step 8 For 2-pounds of pasta – Transfer the cooked pasta to a large bowl with about 2 to 3 cups of tomato sauce. Add 1-cup of the Parmesan cheese and toss along with the pasta and tomato sauce.
  • Step 9 Ladle in more sauce and remaining cheese to thoroughly coat the pasta. Let the pasta rest for about 5 minutes to soak up some of the sauce. Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese for serving.
  • Step 10 Refrigerate or freeze any leftover sauce. When ready to serve, gently warm in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Step 11 Makes about 7 cups of tomato sauce – enough for 2 pounds of pasta.


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