Fresh Tomato Sauce for Pasta

By Sandy Hu
A new video for Video Friday

Soon sweet and juicy tomatoes will be in bountiful supply. Funny gnarled heirlooms, dainty red and yellow cherry and pear varieties, and tomatoes of every conceivable shape and color will tempt us with their glorious taste of summer.

It’s time for bruschetta, BLTs, salsas and salads.

When selecting tomatoes of a single variety, pick the ones that have the most vibrant color. Store tomatoes at room temperature. I like to store mine in a single layer (so they don’t bruise) in several brown paper bags. Just don’t forget about them and let them spoil.

To hasten ripening tomatoes, add an apple or banana to the bag. These fruits give off ethylene gas naturally, which will help to ripen fruits faster. If tomatoes are getting overripe, put them in the fridge to retard further ripening. Bring to room temperature before using.

One of my favorite ways to use tomatoes is in a fresh tomato sauce for pasta. You don’t really need a recipe but I’ve given you one as a starter.

It’s good to peel and seed tomatoes for this sauce. By peeling, you don’t get those plastic-y bits of skin as you eat. And seeding keeps the sauce from getting too watery.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

No-Cook Pasta Sauce
Makes 2 to 3 servings

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more, if needed
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound spaghetti

In medium bowl combine tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil. Season with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grindings of pepper. Cook spaghetti according to package directions and drain. Toss with tomato mixture. Add additional olive oil if pasta seems dry and toss well to combine.

Note: This dish is best made with sweet, ripe tomatoes. If your tomatoes aren’t too sweet, add a splash of balsamic vinegar. The amount of salt you need depends on the quality of the tomatoes. More tart tomatoes may need more salt. Start with 1/2 teaspoon; taste and add more if needed.

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Posted: Jun 20th by Sandy_Hu