This easy, no-cook raw tomato sauce is perfect on summer pasta, and even better if you can find a colorful mix of sweet cherry, grape, and Sungold tomatoes.
In Praise of Summer Pasta
In the summer, tomatoes are at their very best, but it’s also hot out and not very fun to be stuck inside over a sweltering stove. No-bake and no-cook recipes are essential, but sometimes we’re willing to at least boil water—good thing, since summer pasta salad is such a welcome staple at picnics and BBQs.
This fast, fresh dinner feels a little more like a traditional supper option, but it could definitely also work as a side. It is creamy (thanks to the soft cheese of your choice), but there’s no mayo, a welcome relief for those who aren’t fond of the white stuff. Most importantly, it’s super easy. You can make the sauce ahead of time and let it hang out until you’re ready to eat.
Lisa Lavery shows you how to make this creamy, bright tomato pasta:
Bialetti Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid, $34.99 on Amazon
Draining pasta has never been easier (but save a little for this recipe).
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Be sure to buy the best-tasting tomatoes you can find or this will fall flat. Fresh herbs are also key, so feel free to try other types depending on what you have in the fridge or in your garden.
- Break out a really big bowl that will hold all your pasta and tomatoes with room to mix everything together; you can serve it straight from this vessel too.
- You’ll want a pound of tomatoes, which can be all cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters, or you can use larger heirloom tomatoes and simply chop them into small pieces.
- While the sauce gets even better as it rests, keep it on the counter; the fridge will dull the flavor and make the texture mushy. It can sit, covered, at room temp for up to a few hours.
- Remember to put your goat cheese, ricotta, or brie on the counter to come to room temp so it softens and mixes easily into the sauce.
- Use any pasta shape you like as long as it has ridges or crannies so the sauce has plenty of places to hide.
- A little pasta water is crucial here, so don’t drain it all! (Or drain some into a small measuring cup or bowl before pouring the rest down the sink.)