Written by Danielle Oteri
No-cook tomato sauce made from chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil is simply the easiest and most elegant dish for a late summer evening.
Truly, this is something that you can only enjoy in these parts for two to three weeks of the entire year. But when tomatoes and basil are in season, you almost owe it to them to prepare a dish that lets their freshness shine.
I’ve done this sauce with beefsteak tomatoes, plums and heirlooms. Surprisingly, heirlooms are too sour for the sauce, and beefsteaks are too, um…beefy!
However, plum and cherry tomatoes are just perfect. I just kissed the tips of my fingers.
That said, this no-cook tomato sauce is something I’ve made at least a dozen times. But as I contemplated what to do with the nearly 30 tomatoes I received in this week’s CSA, I decided to try something new.
I wanted to push the sauce beyond mild and sweet and instead make it bold and hot. The answer was right under my nose…
Yes! Chile peppers also arrived fresh from the farm this week and became the perfect tweak.
These were relatively high on the heat scale and it’s smart to wear a pair of latex gloves when cleaning any hot pepper.
Only having yellow rubber scrubbing gloves, I instead rubbed a little olive oil on my hands, which was also a reminder and good deterrent not to touch my face. Make sure you wash your hands well afterward.
Celery leaves were a last minute addition. I’ve seen them included in raw tomato sauce in Italy (where they love their bitter greens), but I’ve never before tried them.
Fortunately for me, I also received celery from the farm and I was able to “Ask Casey” how I could best store it for a few days until my tomatoes were fully ripe. (Organic celery often turns into an inedible rubbery mess within 24 hours.)
“Mummify your celery with aluminum foil, it stays fresh for WEEKS. Months, possibly,” she replied.
Brilliant, huh? I never would have known.
- 1 red serrano or jalapeno pepper
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 handful large basil leaves
- 1 handful celery leaves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- Remove the ribs and seeds from the chile pepper (using latex gloves so the capascin doesn't remain on your fingers) and place in a large bowl.
- Dice all the tomatoes and add to the bowl.
- Mince the garlic and coarsely chop the basil and celery leaves, and add to the bowl.
- Stir in the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let the mixture sit for at least 2 hours at room temperature.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then stir in 1 tablespoon kosher salt and the angel hair. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, just until al dente.
- While the water comes to a boil, taste the tomatoes and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Remove the pasta from water with tongs and add to the sauce. (A bit of the pasta water will help the sauce blend and stick to your strands.)
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 193mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.
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