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Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

The recipe for the make-ahead tomato sauce came from a Neapolitan farmer. He readies it before dawn to "cook" before heading out to the fields; throughout the day, the flavors of the garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, and basil all meld together.

  • Servings: 6
Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2005


  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 pound pasta (fusilli or spaghetti)
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Make chile oil: Stir together 1/2 cup oil and 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes. Let stand at room temperature at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

  2. Make sauce: Core tomatoes and tear into bite-size pieces directly into a serving bowl. Add garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, the oregano, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and remaining 1/2 cup oil. Lightly crush together using a wooden spoon. Let stand at room temperature 1 to 8 hours.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt to taste. Add pasta; cook until al dente. Drain. Add hot pasta to tomato mixture. Discard garlic cloves. Serve with Parmesan cheese for grating and with the chile oil for drizzling.


Reviews (3)

  • Natalex 26 Aug, 2012

    One of our all time favorites--you just can't beat a no-cook tomato sauce on a hot summer day using fresh from the garden tomatoes. This is easily the best version of this type of preparation we've tried. Amazing use of the 'glut' of cherry tomatoes we have each year. It is somewhat delicate in flavor and we found it doesn't hold it's own against wheat pasta, go for traditional semolina instead.

  • IMBIRDIE 26 Oct, 2010

    Trying this tonight!

  • peej2 21 Oct, 2010

    I made this yesterday. It was easy and tastes AMAZING! I have been waiting for my payday (I am unemplyed and about to be evicted) to order this cookbook. Thanks for these recipes.

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