It may have taken a while, but this year's crop of fresh tomatoes is finally making its way into farmers markets and grocery stores in the Dallas Metroplex. Make the most of them with this no-cook tomato sauce recipe: you won't believe how something so simple can taste so delicious, or how something so delicious can be so quick and easy. And since this healthy pasta sauce does all the cooking it needs right in the serving bowl, this Procrastination Pasta Sauce Recipe is a real time-saver when it comes to doing the dishes, too.
So, why publish this classic Italian pasta sauce recipe today? After all, today is Tax Day, which for most of us is not such a joyous occasion. Well, for one thing, the Italians hate paying taxes even more than we do. In Italy, tax evasion– whether it is by bending the rules just short of breaking or ignoring tax laws altogether– is not just a sport, it’s the national pastime.
Even more importantly, Italian food is the epitome of comfort food for most of us, regardless of our ethnic background. If you happen to be one of the millions of Americans who have spent the last few days frantically rushing around, tearing your hair out over your last minute 1040, you deserve to be reminded that last-minute can be a good thing, and that sometimes procrastination can be a good idea.
Finally, you don't need to buy any specialty ingredients and this vegetarian pasta sauce recipe is meat free, so this no-cook tomato sauce recipe is cheap– an especially nice benefit on a day when Uncle Sam has been messing with your wallet.
This recipe makes enough sauce to dress 1 pound (450 grams) of pasta. What kind of noodle you use is up to you, but this recipe for no-cook tomato sauce is especially nice on a noodle with just a little bit of heft to it: spaghetti is classic, but penne, fusilli and farfalle are also good choices. It's also nice served with ravioli. For more information on ingredients for this recipe, including tips on shopping in the Dallas Metroplex, see below.
Procrastination Pasta Sauce Recipe
- 1 pound of pasta
- 1 pound of fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil (see note)
- 1 handful basil, about 12-15 leaves, chopped
- 12 chives, snipped OR 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, stripped OR 1/2 handful chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, preferably coarse ground sea salt or kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or similar cheese, to serve (optional)
Put water on to boil.
Prepare remaining ingredients except cheese, dumping them straight into the serving bowl or other large mixing bowl as you go. Mix sauce ingredients well. Note: you can assemble the sauce a few hours ahead of time; let it sit on the counter until you are ready for it.
When water is boiling, add salt and pasta to pot. Cook according to package directions, until al dente. Al dente means "to the tooth" in Italian, and pasta should be cooked until softened but still chewy; pasta should never be mushy and it should hold its shape.
When pasta is cooked, drain briefly and add pasta to sauce while still steaming hot. The sauce will cook a bit and the flavors will meld beautifully just from the heat of the noodles. Toss well and serve while still hot.
Buy it local! Where to buy tomatoes, olive oil and other ingredients in Dallas.
Good tomatoes, whether local or from Mexico, are finally available at farmers markets and supermarkets throughout the Dallas Metroplex, as are fresh herbs. The Dallas Farmers Market is always a good bet for produce, and a trip to the farmers market makes for a nice day out.
Because no-cook pasta sauce is such a simple dish, the quality of the olive oil really matters. Check out Jimmy's Food Market for extra virgin olive oil imported from Italy, or buy local Texas olive oil from Shed #2 at the Dallas Farmers Market. Or stop by one of these Dallas area Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Markets, which are located all over the Dallas Metroplex.
Let us know what you think! I welcome your comments below, or send me an email with your requests and suggestions. Hungry for more? Subscribe to the Dallas Ethnic Foods Examiner for the latest recipes, food news and product reviews.