Summer in a Blender
No-Cook Pasta Sauce is Fast, Easy, & Delicious
I have many food loves: chocolate, olives, fresh-made bread. I'm happy to enjoy a complicated meal, if someone else cooks it ;) But I'm especially drawn to recipes with very few ingredients, not only because they're easy to prepare but because the good ones let a few key flavors shine.
Here's a tomato sauce recipe that might be my all-time favorite, or at least my fave summer food. To me it's like summer in a blender. It's hard to mess up this simple, glorious pasta recipe. Extra perfect if you have too many tomatoes (not that I believe that's really possible...).
There's only 2 things that money can't buy: true love and homegrown tomatoes.— Guy Clark
No-Cook Pasta Sauce
2 large garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
1/4 cup coarsely choppped red onion
1 cup fresh basil leaves
6 large, ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
1 lb. pasta
plenty of fresh-grated parmesan cheese
Put on some water for the pasta, and while it's coming to a boil, you can make the sauce.
Put the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and onions in a blender or food processor. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. That's it--this sauce is served at room temperature.
Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and toss, while still very hot, in a large serving bowl with enough sauce to coat the pasta well. Put remaining sauce out, along with the grated parmesan, so diners can add more if they'd like. Serve immediately!
A Few Tips
We don't bother with this, but if you'd like, heat the serving bowl and pasta bowls/plates in the oven before serving (provided they're oven safe, of course). Grate plenty of parmesan on top. Finally, put out some French bread for dipping in the sauce. Heaven!
A great garlic press, parmesan grater, stockpot with pasta insert, and (of course!) my trusty KitchenAid blender help me pull this dinner together in a flash.
Our sauce was adapted from the Moosewood cookbook shown below, which is heavily vegetarian. I've been using it since college and have many fond memories. The Spinach Lasagna Bechamel became legendary among friends and family. Greek Potatoes smell incredible as they cook and taste even better. The Refried Beans cost almost nothing to make and will put you off the canned variety forever. Many other delish dishes offer an easy intro to world cuisine.
The second book provides more no-cook options for lazy summer days, when the last thing you want to deal with is a hot stovetop.
The third book we grabbed for Father's Day, for our Gardener in Chief :) It is gorgeous and a delightfully written wealth of info for anyone into growing (or eating!) heirloom tomatos.
A cooked tomato is like
a cooked oyster: ruined.— Andre Simon
Delicious, easy food can be amazingly healthy. Here's what your body gets with this no-cook pasta sauce:
Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which may help prevent many types of cancer.
Basil has natural antibacterial properties and cell-protecting flavonoids.
Onion can help lower blood sugar and fight heart disease, colon cancer and other serious ailments.
Garlic is a well-known nutritional superstar that helps protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers. (Did you know the ancient Greeks used to feed it to athletes before they competed in the Olympic Games?)
Olive oil can help lower "bad" cholesterol levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease.
What's your favorite pasta recipe? Have you ever tried an uncooked sauce?