Friday, September 14, 2012

Raw Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce for Pasta



There is something wonderfully appealing about a no cook, or raw, fresh tomato sauce for pasta. The approach is very pure, emphasizing good, simple, and fresh ingredients. I urge you to only use exceptional, peak-season tomatoes in this dish, otherwise it will lack flavor.



Sometimes raw sauces can be a little runny. Below are a couple tips that can help reduce the runniness and set the sauce flavors:
  1. Use kosher salt so that the tomatoes don't break down. 
  2. Cook the pasta a few minutes shy of al dente. Drain. In the same pot, add some of the extra juice from the tomato sauce and set it over medium-low heat. Add pasta, and toss until juices are absorbed. This will do two things: 1) keep your sauce from being too runny and 2) infuse the flavor of the sauce into the pasta. 
And if you don't like to eat raw garlic, lightly crush each clove and leave in tomato sauce to infuse the flavor. Simply fish out the garlic clove before tossing with pasta.



Other delicious tomato dishes you might like include:

Raw Fresh Tomato Sauce over Pasta
1 lb exceptional, peak-season tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 cup chopped basil
2 tbsp lemon juice
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb whole wheat spaghetti or angel hair 

optional: good olive oil for drizzling
finely grated parmesan

Over a large bowl, grate half of the tomatoes using the large holes on a box grater. For the remaining half of tomatoes, coarsely chop each half into quarters or sixths, depending on the size.  Combine chopped tomatoes with large bowl of grated tomatoes. Add slivered garlic, lemon juice, and chopped basil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let sit.

Note: If you don't like eat raw garlic, lightly crush each clove and leave in tomato sauce to infuse the flavor. Fish out the garlic clove before tossing with pasta.

While tomato sauce stands, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt, and cook pasta a couple minutes shy from al dente. Drain. In the same pot, add some of the extra juice from the tomato sauce and set it over medium-low heat. Add pasta, and toss until juices are absorbed. This will do two things: 1) keep your sauce from being too runny and 2) infuse the flavor of the sauce into the pasta.

Add pasta to tomato mixture, tossing to combine well. Let stand for at least 15 minutes. Drizzle with good olive oil and sprinkle with finely grated parmesan, if desired.

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