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Summer in a Blender

Updated on May 21, 2014

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...).

(photo: Muffett cc ~ cropped for shape)

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.

More Recipes

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

Health Benefits

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?


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    • verymary profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Chicago area

      @ecogranny: yes, the color will vary depending on what kind(s) of tomatoes you use. the texture should be very smooth, with a good blender. warming will work too -- just do it gently to save the flavor. thanks so much for your input!!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @ecogranny: Returned to let you know I finally had the right combination of fresh tomatoes and basil in my kitchen at the same time, so made this recipe up for lunch. It is delicious! We did find the color and texture a little offputting, but quickly covered with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and garnished with fresh tomatoes and torn basil. The flavor is outstanding.

      One of the quickest, freshest meals I've prepared in a long time. Bonus: I can easily see warming the puree and serving as "creamy" tomato soup with hunks of crusty sour dough bread.

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: Interesting, thx - my family likes them so much better raw

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Yes, we like an uncooked pasta sauce on hot days in the summer. Yours sounds absolutely delicious, and I can't wait to try it. Well done page too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Tomatoes have more lycopene when cooked.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia


    • TeacherRenee profile image

      TeacherRenee 6 years ago

      So easy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      So Good! Thank you for sharing. magic bullet blender

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I am excited about this! Delicious and healthy, going to try to make this for sure!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      You're right. There's nothing better than the taste of a home grown tomato. I can't wait for spring to arrive!

      Thanks for sharing


    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 8 years ago from Australia

      Ooooh. Yummy!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Looks great...I'll have to try this!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      [in reply to Frankster] Yes, I make a pretty good pesto, too, but I think my sister-in-law's is better. Will have to get her recipe and lensify it! Thanks for the comment.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 8 years ago from California

      I'll have to try your tomato scauce. Do you have one for pesto sauce? I'll come to see. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 8 years ago from Sweden

      I loved this lens! I like the sayings =)

      Good for you!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Thanks for visiting This is the perfect lens to lensroll. Nice work!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      As hot as it gets here in Jacksonville Florida, I'd like to spend my summer in a blender! ;)

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      [in reply to CreativeArtist] Thanks, Cheryl!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 8 years ago from West Virginia

      Welcome to the Vegetarian Recipes Group.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 8 years ago from West Virginia

      Sounds like a great topping for our pasta! And I've got fresh tomatoes growing, just looking forward to this tasty dish. Feel free to add it to

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      [in reply to Treasures-By-Brenda] Thank you, Brenda! I'm honored to be included in such a well curated, not to mention delicious (!), group.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Welcome to the Culinary Favorites From A to Z group. Your lens is being featured under 'T is for Tomatoes and Truffles.' Don’t forget to come back and add your lens to the link list so that it will appear on the group page!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Sounds really good!

      Thanks for sharing


    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 8 years ago

      oh yes, I've been here before! I love this pasta sauce! Great job!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Very nicely focused lens; blessed by a Squid Angel. Be sure to submit it to some food/cooking groups like the Culinary Favorites From A to Z!

    • profile image

      jbarnhart41 8 years ago

      I love this lens. I featured on my recipe lens...Pepperoni Soup. Great job!

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      Wow ~ fabulous idea to keep your kitchen cool in the summer! (I certainly never would have thought to put pasta sauce in a blender :o)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      That sounds so good that it would make a great dip, too

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 8 years ago

      I cannot wait to try this!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      I would LOVE this sauce! You are right about being healthy. Wonderful summer recipe.

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 8 years ago

      Looks really tasty, I'll have to put this on my list to try this summer!

    • profile image

      enslavedbyfaeries 8 years ago

      Amazing! I may never buy bottled pasta sauce again!!

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      [in reply to annetteghallowell] Annette, do you add anything to that? Sounds yummy! We grow cherry tomatoes too--the kids love 'em.

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      Looks good!

    • annetteghallowe1 profile image

      annetteghallowe1 8 years ago

      I usually make my pasta sauce by baking cherry tomatoes in the oven for 15 minutes...this will be on my list for the next time I find great ripe summer tomatoes! 5*

    • LakeMom profile image

      LakeMom 8 years ago

      Sounds yummy! Great lens!

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 8 years ago from Western Mass

      this sounds amazing. you may want to add it to a raw foods group or something - they'll love it! i can't wait to try it.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      No cook=great in my world! I live in the high desert so don't want to cook in the summer. This will be on my list! thank you!